As the calendar flips to October and darkness begins to creep in ever earlier on the clock, there are times when a bowl of soup or pot of stew is seemingly the only life-giving force left on this cold, desolate planet. Using every warming and cozy ingredient imaginable, bowls of comfort offer soulful rejuvenation to the fall fatigued and the winter weary.
Rosemary Split Pea Soup With Bacon
This intriguingly green amalgam of chopped, minced and diced ingredients warms the cockles of everyone’s heart with varying textures and rich depth. In this version, fatty bacon takes the place of traditional ham, upping the pork ante and distributing more unctuous flavor. And rosemary brings it to an entirely fresh level, adding a distinctive, earthy flavor to this comforting concoction.
Pumpkin Chipotle Soup
What to do with all those pumpkins floating around this time a year? Sure, pumpkin pie is a great idea, but this year expand those culinary horizons and dip into a Southwestern soup full of smoky and spicy flavors thanks to chipotle chilies, cumin and oregano. Never mind pumpkin-spiced lattes, this soup utilizes the beloved fall gourd in a unique and smooth fashion. Garnish with toasted shelled pumpkin seeds for extra pizazz.
Beer Cheese Soup
The epic combination of beer and cheese is an invention of either sheer genius or pure devilishness. A Midwestern trick to warm a tired body, this savory soup combines beer (preferably a pale ale) with plenty of aged cheddar. It is thick, creamy and especially cheesy with the perfect amount of spices to grab the attention of all taste buds. Top with chives and croutons, or even popcorn, for garnish.
Recipe Courtesy of Jeff Mauro on www.foodnetwork.com
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 50 minutes; Serves: 6
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcesershire sauce
1 bottle pale ale, such as Pabst Blue Ribbon
2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar
1 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup half-and-half
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, onions, mustard powder, cayenne and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Pour in the stock, mustard and Worcestershire and simmer until the veggies are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the ale, simmer, about 5 minutes, and then puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the Cheddar, gruyere and half-and-half and stir until melted through and smooth. Adjust the seasoning and top with the Garlic Butter Crostini. Enjoy with a 30-pack of your favorite cheap beer.
Creamy Garlic Soup
This soup is loaded with the stink of comfort. Garlic, in all its potent glory, delivers everything the body needs during the cold season while keeping the calorie count at a minimum. Garlic is loaded in the nutrition department, with plenty of manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, fiber, along with some calcium, copper, potassium and iron. And oh yes, that wonderful stink.
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes; Serves: 4 — 6
Recipe Courtesy of Marbalet on www.allrecipes.com
3/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup peeled and cubed potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Chop garlic in a food processor to a coarse paste, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl. Heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic paste and cook just until the paste begins to color, stirring constantly. Stir in the chicken broth and wine. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the milk, cream and potato and simmer for another 30 minutes. Puree soup in blender, return to saucepan and simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with buttered French bread.
Chorizo and White Bean Stew
When the cold weather dials up the seasonal affective disorder, the combination of chorizo and white beans does wonders to warm the body and soul. Unlike most stews that can take hours to develop any real flavor, the chorizo in this recipe transforms ordinary chicken or vegetable broth into a dynamic brew in a matter of minutes. Substitute sweet or hot Italian sausage for the chorizo if that floats your gravy boat.