Warm up with winter soups
From rich cream soups to nourishing broths, these classic recipes will keep you cozy
BY VALERIE BOESE
Homemade soups are the perfect comfort food, satisfying even the hungriest of appetites. They offer the flexibility of cooking with what you have on hand, and there are no rules when it comes to the ingredients. Plus, soups can be made in short order with minimal cleanup, making for the ultimate “no fuss, no mess” meal.
Cheesy broccoli soup
Ready in less than an hour, this soup is an excellent choice for brunch or a quick meal. You can substitute cauliflower for the broccoli. Yields 6 servings.
11/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 stalk celery, chopped finely
2 cups chopped broccoli, raw or frozen
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
11/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crackers, for garnish
In a stockpot, bring chicken broth, carrots, and celery to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 4 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add broccoli, and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until broccoli is tender. Reduce heat to low.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour and milk until smooth. Pour the flour and milk mixture into the soup, and stir to combine. Cover, and cook on low for 10 minutes, or until soup thickens. Don’t let the soup boil or the milk will scald. Stir in cheese and parsley, and cook for 3 more minutes, or until cheese is melted. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with crumbled crackers and shredded cheddar cheese.
Authentic wonton soup
This hearty Asian-style soup has a rich broth and flavorful dumplings filled with savory chicken that’ll keep you coming back for more. Yields 4 servings.
1 raw chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Dash ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash black pepper
6 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives or green onion tops, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon white wine, optional
20 wonton wrappers
In a small bowl, combine chicken, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix until chicken is thoroughly coated. Set aside.
In a stockpot, combine chicken broth, chives, soy sauce, and white wine, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
While broth is simmering, make wontons. Place 1 teaspoon chicken mixture in the center of 1 wonton wrapper. Using your fingers or a pastry brush dipped in water, wet all four edges of wrapper, and then join two opposite corners and press edges to seal, forming a triangle. Wet remaining two corners, fold them so they meet in the middle of the bottom of the triangle, and press together to form a wonton (see photo, below). Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers.
Bring soup up to a light boil over medium-high heat, and drop in all 20 filled wontons. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until wontons float.
Garnish with chives or green onion tops.
Creamy wild rice and chicken soup
This quick, classic soup is a simple way to make use of leftover chicken. Yields 6 servings.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon white wine
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup chopped broccoli
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup cream
Crusty bread or crumbled bacon, for garnish
In a stockpot, heat oil on medium-low. Add celery, carrot, and onion. Saute 5 to 8 minutes, stirring regularly, until vegetables are tender.
Add chicken, chicken broth, and white wine to pot. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add cooked rice and broccoli, and simmer for 5 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Reduce heat to low, and add cream. Cook gently on low heat for about 5 minutes.
Garnish with crusty bread or bacon bits.
Easy gnocchi soup with spinach
The pasta lovers in your family will be delighted by this blend of Italian flavors. For a quick version, use store-bought gnocchi. Yields 6 servings.
2 large potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups tomato juice
1/3 cup fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 cups stemmed raw spinach or chopped kale
11/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash ground nutmeg
1 large egg
2 cups Italian cheese blend, divided, plus more for garnish
Crusty bread, grated Parmesan cheese, and parsley, for garnish
In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water and boil, whole, until tender, about 20 minutes.
While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, tomato juice, and basil, and bring to a light boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Increase heat to medium, and bring soup back to a boil. Add spinach, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove stockpot from heat and let sit, covered, while you prepare the gnocchi.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, and nutmeg.
While potatoes are still warm, grate them with a food processor, box grater, or ricer. Add grated potato, egg, and 1 cup Italian cheese blend to flour mixture, and mix thoroughly with your hands.
Lightly flour a work surface. Dump potato mixture onto work surface, and knead until smooth. Divide dough into 6 equal balls, and roll each ball out with your hands to make a small rope about 12 inches long by 1 inch in diameter. Cut ropes into 1-inch-long pieces.
Return stockpot to stove and bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Drop in gnocchi pieces. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until gnocchi floats, indicating it’s done. Add remaining 1 cup Italian cheese blend, and stir until melted.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and crusty bread.
Game day cheeseburger soup
Sure to satisfy hearty appetites, this meat-and-potato-lovers soup is topped with gooey cheddar cheese. Yields 6 servings.
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon beef base
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1 large bay leaf
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, divided
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, plus more for garnish
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook ground beef, onion, black pepper, and beef base until beef is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
In a stockpot over medium-high heat, bring potatoes, carrots, and bay leaf to a boil in just enough water to cover potatoes. Cover, and lightly boil for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1 cup milk until smooth. Add milk and flour mixture to stockpot with potatoes. Reduce heat to low, and add remaining 2 cups milk and parsley. Cover, and cook on low until soup thickens, about 10 minutes.
Add cheeses, butter, and salt, and cook on low heat, stirring, until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and cheese.
Excerpted from GRIT. To read more articles from GRIT, please visit www.grit.com or call 866-803-7096 to subscribe. Copyright 2021 by Ogden Publications Inc.
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