Warming Winter Soups

by Cezanne Colvin

CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Every time I make this savory soup, I think about using the leftovers as a sauce. A sauce for what, you might ask? Literally anything, because it’s that good. Then, however, everyone always ends up eating the entire pot of soup and the cycle repeats itself. My advice: make this soup and set a little bit aside for later to douse on your chicken or ravioli or just in the general vicinity of your mouth.

INGREDIENTS
• 1 T oil
• 2 shallots, thinly diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 small butternut squash, cubed
• 1 1/2 T curry powder
• 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 2-3 T maple syrup
• salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1-2 tsp. chili garlic paste or Sriracha

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss butternut squash in oil, add a pinch of salt and then roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender.
2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
3. Add the shallots, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add roasted butternut squash and season with curry powder and ground cinnamon. Stir to coat, then cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, maple syrup, and chili garlic paste or Sriracha if you like a little heat.
6. Bring to a low boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Blend the soup until it’s smooth with an immersion blender or transfer it in batches to a high-speed blender.
8. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more curry powder, salt, or maple syrup. Continue cooking for a few more minutes over medium heat. Serve with a swirl of coconut milk.

ROASTED RED PEPPER TORTILLA SOUP

This is the perfect soup to make if people are hanging out in the kitchen because you’ll look like a total martyr for roasting and peeling the red peppers yourself – a task almost as tedious as unsubscribing from email lists – and you’ll be forever etched into their minds as a selfless culinary maven. Sure, there’s a little bit of labor involved in this one, but it’s worth it.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 T olive oil
• 6 large red bell peppers, halved, seeded, membranes removed
• 6 cloves garlic, in peel
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped
• 3 T tomato paste
• 2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
• salt, to taste
• 4 cups vegetable stock
• Toppings: tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro, and feta cheese

Optional: 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Optional: 1/2 cup water
Optional: 1 T arrowroot starch or cornstarch

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the halved peppers, cut side down, in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the whole cloves of garlic in between the peppers. Roast until peppers are blackened.
2. Remove peppers from the oven and transfer them to a bowl and cover to steam them for 10 minutes. Allow them to cool, then peel off the charred top layer of skin. Peel the skin off the garlic.
3. In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion, peeled whole garlic cloves, and salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and translucent.
4. Add the tomato paste, cumin, paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper and cook for one minute, while stirring constantly. Add the peeled red peppers and vegetable stock and stir.
5. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Optional but recommended step for the creamiest soup: Whisk together ½ cup water with arrowroot or cornstarch. During the last minute of cooking time, pour the mixture into the soup and stir to blend.
7. Blend the soup until it’s smooth with an immersion blender or transfer it in batches to a high-speed blender.
8. Top with tortilla chips, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, and crumbled feta cheese.

NOURISHING GREEN SOUP

I know what you’re thinking: this soup looks like the penultimate step of a cleanse. Okay, so it’s not lobster bisque – and it’s never going to be lobster bisque—but you will feel like a glowing sunbeam bursting with antioxidants after consumption, and after a season of overindulgence, this is what we all need.

INGREDIENTS
• 2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
• 2 large yellow onions, sliced
• 1 tsp. salt, divided
• 3 cups of water
• 1/4 cup arborio rice
• 1 large bunch kale
• 2-8 oz. packages of baby spinach
• 4 cups vegetable broth
• Big pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
• 1 T lemon juice, or more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Remove the ribs from the kale and discard. Coarsely chop the leaves.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium low heat and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they’re caramelized and golden brown.

3. While the onions are cooking, combine 3 cups water and ¾ teaspoon salt in large pot or Dutch oven. Add rice and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

4. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the kale. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

5. Add the caramelized onions to the rice pot along with the spinach, broth, and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green.

6. Blend the soup until it’s smooth with an immersion blender or transfer it in batches to a high-speed blender.

7. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, or cayenne pepper, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil.

HEARTY VEGETABLE STEW

Also known as a clean-out-your-refrigerator surprise, you can really use any vegetables you want in this soup. Hate squash? Skip it! Only have sweet potatoes? Throw them in there! It’s like abstract art – you can’t really mess this up. One thing you shouldn’t skip, however, is the parmesan cheese topping. While you’re at it, get yourself a crusty loaf of bread for dipping.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
• 2 large yellow onions, sliced
• 1 tsp. salt, divided
• 3 cups of water
• 1/4 cup arborio rice
• 1 large bunch kale
• 2-8 oz. packages of baby spinach
• 4 cups vegetable broth
• Big pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
• 1 T lemon juice, or more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Remove the ribs from the kale and discard. Coarsely chop the leaves.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium low heat and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they’re caramelized and golden brown.

3. While the onions are cooking, combine 3 cups water and ¾ teaspoon salt in large pot or Dutch oven. Add rice and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

4. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the kale. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

5. Add the caramelized onions to the rice pot along with the spinach, broth, and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green.

6. Blend the soup until it’s smooth with an immersion blender or transfer it in batches to a high-speed blender.

7. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, or cayenne pepper, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil.

As seen in the Winter/Spring 2017 Issue

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2017-10-24T13:39:57+00:00