“Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.” Margaret Kennedy
What are your favorite ways to stay warm in winter? During the winter time, we turn not only to warm clothing, well stocked fireplaces and heated homes, but also to comfort foods that nourish our insides and keep us warm and well fed. I love winter clothing; coats, boots, knit hats and gloves but better yet, I love hot soups. I enjoy eating a wide range of soups during the cold season and the best part is that we can also toss whatever left over vegetables and grain we have in our fridge in a pot, buy fresh vegetables and tofu which I do often, add some vegetable or chicken stock, and make a delicious quick soup. For this post, I’d love to share some of my favorite soups and, if possible, provide you with recipes to make them. Above is Tom Yum Soup.
Tom Yum Soup via AllRecipes.com
Prep Time:10 Min, Cook Time:40 Min, Ready In:1 Hr 10 Min, Serves: 4 -6 servings
Ingredients: 1/2 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
12 mushrooms, halved
1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
4 cups water
2 lemon grass
4 kaffir lime leaves
4 slices galangal
4 chile padi (bird’s eye chiles)
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon hot chile paste
1 tablespoon tom yum soup paste (optional)
Directions: Trim lemongrass and cut into matchstick size pieces.
To make stock: Add the shrimp heads and shells to water, then cook for 20 minutes. Turn the fire off. Soak the heads and shells for further 20 minutes before discarding. Trim lemongrass and cut into matchstick size pieces. Add stock, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chili padi, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili paste to a pot and bring to a boil. After boiling for 5 minutes, add shrimps and both mushrooms. Cook for further 10 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.
“It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without soup or bread in it.” M. F. K. Fisher
Chicken soups come in all forms and people create their own recipes for them too. I love Matzo Ball Soup with vegetables and chicken stock with some chicken in it. Soups are great when we are not feeling well. I find that when I have a cold or begin to feel under the weather, a spicy soup like Tom Yum, a Mixed Vegetable, Chicken Noodle, or Chicken with Matzo ball soup does the trick in helping my immune system recuperate. Even though the pictures above are of a Chicken Noodle Soup, and a hearty Vegetable Soup, I have shared a Spicy Chicken soup recipe below. You can modify it by using fewer spices and skipping the sour cream…. What I love about soups is that we don’t have to be rigid with recipes, we can adapt and adjust them accordingly. Also, I use fresh not canned vegetables and we can swap items on the recipe lists. Do you have a favorite soup recipe? Don’t forget to check out one of my top favorite soups: The Carrot with Cashews & Ginger Soup… More Below.
Spicy Chicken soup via All Recipes.com
Prep Time: 15 Min Cook Time:30 Min Ready In:45 Min, Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients: 2 quarts water
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon onion powder
5 cubes chicken bouillon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (16 ounce) cans chili beans, undrained
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
Directions: In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, or until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken, reserve broth. Shred chicken.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Stir in salsa, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato soup, chili powder, corn, chili beans, sour cream, shredded chicken and 5 cups broth. Simmer 30 minutes.
One of my top favorite soups is a carrot with cashew nut and ginger creamy soup that is simply divine. Not only is it delicious, but it is healthy and quite satisfying. When I have it, I usually accompany the soup with a mixed greens salad and I am quite content. You may try this recipe or if you are too busy to cook, Pacific Natural Foods has a pretty good version of this Carrot Cashew Ginger soup. Because I love spicy dishes, I add a dash of hot sauce and I’m ready for the world… Warms your heart and your stomach.
Carrot, Cashew, and Ginger Soup via Food.com
Prep Time: 15 Min Cook Time:35 Min Ready In:50 Min, Serves: 10-12 servings
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup cashews
1 medium onion , chopped
2 garlic cloves , minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger , grated
1/2 cup fennel bulb , chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
8 large carrots , peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 medium turnips , peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 -8 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Directions: 1. Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add cashews and stir constantly until golden brown and toasted. Use caution nuts burn very easily. Remove nuts and set aside. 2. Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add ginger, garlic, salt, and spices. Lower the heat and continue to saute for another 8-10 minutes, until the onions are soft. 3. Add carrots, turnips, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add cashews. Cook for 5-10 more minutes. 4. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice. You may use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Add water as necessary to reach desired consistency.
I think I have a very good idea what Beethoven meant with his quote: “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.” Ludwig van Beethoven. It takes a deep love for soups, a certain creativity to place contrasting flavors together to make a tasty dish, and a desire to appease many palates, to ensure that a good meal is enjoyed by all. Soups are easy and satisfying. Try some soon. Enjoy! Boun Appetito! Bon Appétit! What are your thoughts? How do you stay warm in winter? Do you love soups? What is your favorite soup? Do you have a recipe to share? Do share! Thank you.
This post was inspired by a prompt from Plinky: What are your favorite ways to stay warm in winter?
Positive Motivation Tip: Soups are like warm clothing in the winter time; they keep us warm on the inside… enjoy!
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