Soups are the perfect meal for the winter season by Carmine Barbetta (FB)
As the weather gets colder, curling up under a blanket with a hot bowl of soup may be the perfect dinner. Soups, which can be made in large or small quantities, are a good idea for both a night in alone or a meal for the entire family. These ideas will help you make unique, classic or healthy soups you'll love.
Chicken Noodle Soup
This classic is a favorite of sick children and adults alike and can be ideal to eat during flu season. This is a large recipe that makes over 10 servings, but the soup can be frozen or stored in the fridge for up to three days. Cook the soup at the beginning of the winter and freeze for up to three months in single serving portions.
2 quarts chicken broth, canned or homemade
1 whole roasted chicken
2 medium carrots, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 medium onions, chopped
3 celery ribs, cut into ¼-inch pieces
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups ditalini or other small pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Add onions, carrots and celery in a large pot with some vegetable oil and cook until tender. Break down the chicken. Add chicken, then pour in broth. Add water, if needed, to ensure all the ingredients are completely covered. Add all of your spices and then bring to a boil. When the chicken is cooked through and tender (about two hours), remove from the broth. Shred the chicken and place back into the soup and cook for another ten minutes or so.
There are many substitutions you can make with these ingredients depending on what your personal preference is. You can use egg noodles if you prefer a lot of pasta in your soup or little star shaped pasta if you're trying to appeal to your kids. More vegetables can be added to the broth if you'd like to make the soup a bit heartier.
Also, if you'd like to make the soup in less time, buy a cooked roasted chicken from the store. Let it cool, shred and then place it in the pot at the same time as the broth. The longer you cook it, the fuller the flavor, but it won't take hours.
Make this classic soup, full of healthy vegetables, in a snap by using the following recipe. This is the perfect dinner for any night of the week or a great light lunch. You'll have enough for six to eight servings.
¼ cup cooked small pasta per serving
6 cups vegetable broth
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
14.5 oz. can of low-sodium diced tomatoes
½ tsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot combine all ingredients. Mix well. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender. Total cooking time is about 30 minutes.
Beans or even shredded chicken may be added to bulk up this soup with a bit of protein. Also, feel free to switch out some of these vegetables for whichever ones you or your family prefers.
Potato and Leek Soup
This Irish classic is a simple soup that doesn't require a lot of ingredients. It is cheap, quick and doesn't have to be unhealthy. You'll have about four servings with the following recipe.
3 tablespoons of butter
3 cups of leeks, sliced
4 cups of potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups of water
2 cups of heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, melt butter. Add leeks and cook until slightly browned and tender. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender. Place into a blender and puree. Do this in small batches to avoid splattering. Return to pot and stir in the cream.
This soup can be made without the cream or butter to cut back on calories. If you like bacon, feel free to add it in after the blending process and stir in well.
Healthy Spinach and Chicken Soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces of chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small zucchini, diced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
14-ounce can of chicken broth
¼ cup white wine
2 tablespoons of small pasta
1 ½ cup of spinach
½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning
Salt to taste
Heat oil in large pot, add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until browned on all sides. Remove and place on plate. Add zucchini, shallot and seasoning until the vegetables are softened. Then add tomatoes, broth, wine and pasta. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until the pasta is tender. Stir in spinach and the cooked chicken. Cook for about two minutes, until chicken is completely warmed.
This recipe is extremely healthy as is, but if you'd like a little more flavor, add some parmesan cheese on top.
This unique soup recipe from RecipeLion.com is a delicious way to have a Mexican night without created the mess of traditional tacos. Use the slow cooker to prepare this meal before you go to work and have it ready by the time you get home for dinner. Your family will love the unique flavor and you'll love the ease of this recipe!
1 ½ to 2 pounds of ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cans of tomato sauce
1 large can of tomatoes, broken up into smaller pieces
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 to 1 ½ cans of water
1 package of taco seasoning
Mexican cheese, grated
In a frying pan, cook ground beef with onion. When the onion is tender and ground beef is no longer pink, drain well and place in a slow cooker. Then add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, kidney beans, water and taco seasoning. Mix all of the ingredients well and let cook for four hours on low. To serve, place tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl and ladle the soup over the top. Garnish with the grated cheese and avocado slices as desired.
Try switching out the beef for chicken, to reduce the fat content of this soup. Like a bit more heat? Add some freshly chopped jalapeños.
New England Clam Chowder
If you think this New England favorite is only for trips to seafood restaurants, think again. You and your family will love the tastes of this soup from RecipeLion.com and since it is made in a pressure cooker, it will take you not time at all to make on a weeknight. This recipe will make eight servings in only 15 minutes.
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups of onions, chopped
2 cups of potatoes, cubed
2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
2 cups of water
2 eight-ounce cans of minced clams
1 quart of light cream
¼ cup of butter
Sauté the bacon and onions in the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add potatoes, salt, pepper and water. Cover securely and place the pressure regulator on the vent pipe. Cook for five minutes at 15 pounds pressure. Then let the pressure drop. Drain the clams and then slowly add them, plus a cup of the clam liquid, cream and butter to the cooker. Stir constantly and then simmer for 10 minutes in an open cooker.
If you'd like to make this recipe slightly healthier, skip the bacon and cream to cut down on calories.
Mexican Chicken Chili
Try this twist on a traditional chili to create a hearty soup, thanks to RecipeLion.com.
1 dried chipotle chile
1 tablespoon dried oregano
8 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
4 ounce can of diced green chilis
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup cilantro or more
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
Sugar to taste
1 pound tomatillos, fresh, peeled, quartered
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
Combine everything in a large saucepan, except for the cilantro, lime juice and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the sauce is reduced. Add the cilantro about 15 minutes before it is done. Add lime juice and sugar to adjust the tartness and sweetness of the soup. Serve over rice or in burritos.
If this recipe is too hot for you, remove some of the chilis in the recipe to bring down the heat. Up the amount of cilantro or cumin to maintain flavor to ensure you don't skimp on flavor.
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