Whether it comes in a bowl or a cup, nothing warms the heart quite like a steaming serving of soup.
Put a pot on the stove to simmer and, with some patience, you can expect a rustic yet elegant comfort dish to chase away the chill or cure a case of cabin fever.
The following four, recent cookbooks show why homemade soup beats canned any day:
Curried Turkey & Spinach Soup
Triple Mushroom Soup Web Extra!
Caramelized Onion Soup With Herbed Goat Cheese Toasts
Asian Noodle Soup Web Extra!
Betty’s Lentil Soup
Carrot-Ginger Soup With Lime Crème Fraiche Web Extra!
Three Bean Vegetarian Chili Web Extra!
“Soup for Every Body”
By Joanna Pruess with Lauren Braun, R.D., L.D.
Published by The Lyons Press
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons hot or mild Indian curry paste
6 cups turkey or chicken stock
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
6 tablespoons coarse-grain French mustard
12 ounces uncooked turkey breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 pound young spinach leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are wilted and golden in color, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the curry paste and cook 30 seconds. Whisk in 1 cup of the stock, the half-and-half and mustard.
Transfer to the jar of an electric blender and puree until smooth.
Return the mixture to the pot, add the remaining stock, and simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in the turkey and spinach and cook until the turkey is just cooked through.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Triple Mushroom Soup
2 cups hot water
2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 pound white mushrooms, wiped and trimmed
1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, wiped and trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pint crème fraiche, sour cream or plain cow's milk or soy yogurt
Freshly snipped chives or thinly sliced scallions, to garnish
Pour the hot water over the dried shiitakes and soak until softened. Strain the mushrooms in a strainer lined with moistened paper towels, reserving the liquid.
Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat and reduce to 1/2 cup. Reserve.
Remove and discard the mushrooms' woody stems and cut the mushrooms into thin slices.
Finely chop the white and baby bella mushrooms. (If you do this in a food processor, pulse until finely chopped. Do not let the machine run.)
Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a deep saucepan. Cook the shallots until they are wilted and golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they have released their liquid.
Pour in the stock, add the bay leaf, thyme, salt and plenty of pepper, along with the sliced shiitakes and the reserved mushroom liquid. Partially cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf, stir in the crème fraiche and simmer to heat through.
Ladle into heated bowls, sprinkle with chives or scallions and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
"A Beautiful Bowl of Soup: The Best Vegetarian Recipes”
By Paulette Mitchell
Published by Chronicle Books
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound Vidalia or other sweet onions, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1/2 pound red onions, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup dry red wine
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon minced, fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup (2
ounces) fresh, white goat cheese
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced, fresh rosemary (or a pinch of dried, crushed)
Dash of salt and freshly ground pepper
8 (1/2-inch) slices baguette
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and stir well to coat with the butter.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very tender, about 25 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. (Don’t let the onions burn, lest they become bitter.)
Add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
Add the wine an increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is completely evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock and thyme; bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season to taste.
For the toasts, position the oven rack about 4 to 5 inches from the broiler.
Stir together the goat cheese, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly toast under the broiler about 2 minutes on each side, or until crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.
Spread each slice with the goat cheese mixture.
Reposition the oven rack to about 6 inches from the broiler.
To serve, pour the soup into oven-proof bowls placed on a baking sheet.
Float 2 toasts in a single layer in each bowl and place under the broiler about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is softened.
(Note: This soup will keep up to 2 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. The bread can be toasted early in the day and stored on a lightly covered plate at room temperature. Spread the toasts with goat cheese and broil atop the soup just before serving.)
Makes 4 cups (4 servings).
Asian Noodle Soup
8 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup soy sauce, or to taste
Dash of ground, white pepper, or to taste
4 ounces dried, thin Chinese wheat-flour noodles
8 cups (about 8 ounces) stemmed and coarsely shredded fresh spinach
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 green onions, including green parts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons salted butter
Dash of red-pepper flakes or togarashi powder (made from a hot Japanese chili, available dried and ground in most Asian markets), or to taste
Combine the vegetable stock, soy sauce and pepper in a Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Add the noodles, spinach, corn and green onions. When the soup returns to a boil, cover and cook, keeping the liquid at a boil, until the noodles are tender and the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.
As the noodles cook, stir occasionally with a fork to separate. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To serve, use tongs to divide the noodles, spinach and corn among the bowls, then ladle in the stock.
Top each steaming bowl of soup with a teaspoon of butter and the red-pepper flakes.
Makes 8 cups, or 6 to 8 servings.
“Simply Elegant Soup”
By George Morrone with John Harrisson
Published by Ten Speed Press
1-1/4 cups green lentils
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, peeled and finely diced
3 carrots, peeled
3 sprigs thyme, plus 2 sprigs for garnish
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 dried bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
Cover the lentils with lukewarm water in a mixing bowl and soak 20 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and celery. Sweat the vegetables about 8 minutes, until translucent, making sure they do not brown.
Finely dice half the carrots and grate the remaining half; add both to the pan along with the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, cayenne pepper and salt.
Drain and rinse the lentils and add them to the pan.
Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.
Cover the pan, turn down the heat to low and cook 45 to 60 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
Remove the thyme, parsley and bay leaf and adjust the seasonings.
Finely mince the remaining 2 thyme sprigs.
To serve, ladle the soup into warm, shallow soup bowls and sprinkle with thyme.
Makes 4 servings.
Carrot-Ginger Soup With Lime Crème Fraiche
1 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons powdered ginger
1-1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ginger oil
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 small, green jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon peeled and grated, fresh ginger
4 large carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced
4 cups chicken stock or vegetables stock
Salt and cayenne pepper
Lime Crème Fraiche
1/4 cup crème fraiche
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon minced, fresh cilantro
4 teaspoons ginger oil
12 sprigs cilantro
Freshly cracked, black pepper
To prepare the ginger oil, combine the canola oil, powdered ginger and turmeric in a small, nonreactive bowl.
Carefully whisk the ingredients together and pour into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then return to a clean, nonreactive bowl.
The following day, carefully ladle off the yellow ginger oil and store in a bottle or other airtight container. Discard the solids.
Keep refrigerated until needed.
For the soup, pour the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the ginger oil into a saucepan set over medium heat.
Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and ginger. Sweat abut 5 minutes, until translucent. (Do not brown.)
Add the carrots and cook 5 minutes longer.
Add 3 cups of the stock and simmer 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor in batches and puree until smooth.
Pass through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean saucepan. Reheat the soup, adjusting the consistency with the remaining cup of stock, as needed, and season with salt and cayenne pepper.
Put the crème fraiche in a small bowl. Mince the lime zest and add it to to bowl with the lime juice and cilantro. Season to taste with salt.
Whisk together until combined. Keep refrigerated.
To serve, pour the soup into warm bowls and drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon of the ginger oil.
Diagonally drizzle lime crème fraiche (about 1 teaspoon per serving) across each bowl in the opposite direction.
Place 3 cilantro sprigs across the top of the soup in each bowl and sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
“Southwest Slow Cooking”
By Tammy Biber and Theresa Howell
Published by Northland
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 green chilies, roasted and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups red chile sauce
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Saute the onions in a skillet with the olive oil.
In a slow cooker, combine the sautéed onions, garlic, jalapeno, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chilies, cumin, cayenne, cornmeal, chicken stock, red chile sauce and chicken breasts.
Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours.
Remove the chicken, shred it with a fork and return it to the slow cooker.
Add avocado, cover, and cook on low until the soup is thoroughly heated.
Spoon soup into individual serving bowls and garnish with lime juice, cilantro, cheese and tortillas.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Three Bean Vegetarian Chili
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into 14-inch strips
5 green chilies, roasted and cut into 1/4-inch strips
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup light beer
1 (8-ounce) can tomato paste
Combine all ingredients, except for the sour cream and cilantro, in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours.
Spoon the chili into individual bowls and add a tablespoon sour cream to each bowl.
Stir until well blended.
Garnish each bowl with fresh cilantro and serve with a side of fresh bread.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.