Soup’s On! Soups That Warm The Soul

There is nothing quite like a piping hot bowl of soup to shake off winter’s chill. Humans have known about the power of soup for centuries—evidence shows the first recipes date back to 20,000 BC. Try these soul-warming recipes as respite from the cold.

Tomato-Tortellini Soup

When the weather is frightfully cold and you need something quick to warm you up, try this recipe for tomato-tortellini soup. With only four main ingredients, you’ll be warm and cozy in no time. This recipe was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens and distributed by Family Features.

2 14oz cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 9oz bag of refrigerated tortellini
1 8oz tub cream cheese spread with chive and onion
1 can tomato soup
Fresh chives (optional)
Salt, pepper or cumin to taste

  1. In a medium saucepan bring broth to a boil. Add tortellini then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for five minutes.
  2. In a bowl whisk 1/3 cup of hot broth into the cream cheese spread. Whisk until smooth. Pour contents into saucepan. Stir in tomato soup and heat through.
  3. Serve with fresh chives, if desired. Bring soup to boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and add salt, pepper, or cumin to taste.

Creamy Clam Chowder

Channel your inner New Englander with this hearty one-pot dish that requires only a little help from a handy immersion blender. And you don’t have to feel bad about indulging in this dish, because low-fat milk is substituted to lighten it up. Additionally, clams are always a great low-fat, high-protein seafood option. They contain a handful of healthful nutrients, such as selenium, zinc, iron and magnesium. Rima Kleiner, MS, RD and blogger at Dish on Fish shared her favorite recipe for a New England-style Clam Chowder.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 celery stalks, finely diced
¾ cup low fat milk
¾ cup half-and-half
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 (10oz) cans chopped clams in clam juice, reserve clams separately
1½ cups chicken broth
1 lb. russet or Yukon potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 bay leaf
½ tsp smoked salt
¼ tsp black pepper (or amount to desired taste)
Crusty sourdough bread or oyster crackers, as accompaniment

  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery; sauté until vegetables are tender and translucent, about two minutes. While vegetables are cooking, put milk, half-and-half and flour into a medium bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Add milk mixture, clam juice from cans (but not the clams), broth, potatoes, bay leaf, smoked salt and pepper to pot. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until potatoes are fork tender and the soup thickens, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaf. Now that potatoes are tender, partially blend the soup using an immersion blender; puree until soup reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Add clams and cook another two to three minutes, or until clams are firm and cooked through. Serve chowder with crusty sourdough bread or oyster crackers.

Matzo Ball Soup

Matzah balls (or matzo balls) are traditionally served in chicken soup and are a staple food on the Jewish holiday of Passover, but you don’t need a special occasion to enjoy this recipe. Courtesy of the James Beard Foundation, this recipes serves 4 to 8.

For the soup:

½ large chicken (about 2 ½ pounds), cut into pieces or a
combination of chicken parts to equal 4 pounds
4 stalks celery, tops included, roughly chopped
3 to 4 carrots, roughly chopped
2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
1 small parsnip, roughly chopped
1 small turnip, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 point of a star anise
4 sprigs fresh dill

For the matzo balls:

5 large eggs
4 tbsp hot chicken soup or water
3 tbsp chicken fat (schmaltz), skimmed from the soup
1 tsp kosher salt plus more for cooking water
1 cup plus 2 tsp matzo meal

Make the soup:
  1. Place all of the ingredients except the dill in an 8-quart stock pot and add about three quarts of cold water to cover. Set over high heat and bring to a boil, skimming any froth that rises to the surface.
  2. Turn the heat down to low, set the cover ajar, and simmer for about two hours. Add the dill and continue simmering an additional 45 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, cool to room temperature, and strain through a fine sieve. Refrigerate. If you can prepare the soup a day or two in advance, it will taste even better. Skim off any fat that coagulates on the surface and reserve the fat for the matzo balls.
Make the matzo balls:
  1. A few hours before serving, prepare the matzo balls. In a large pot, bring the strained soup to a simmer. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, soup (or water), chicken fat and salt. Beat in the matzo meal and refrigerate, uncovered, for one hour.
  2. Bring about five quarts of water to a boil with 1½ tablespoons Kosher salt dissolved in it. Remove the matzo meal mixture from the fridge. Wet your hands with cold water and gently shape about two tablespoons of the mixture into a sphere by rolling it around in the palms of your hands. Try not to compact the ball too much. Note that the matzo balls will swell to more than double their size when cooked.
  3. Add the rolled matzo balls to the boiling salted water and repeat with the remaining mixture. Bring the water back to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer, tightly cover the pot, and cook for about 40 minutes until the matzo balls are floating on the surface, puffed, and snowy white. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the matzo balls to the hot soup. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.

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Cyndi Zaweskihttp://www.cyndizaweski.com
Cyndi Zaweski is the editor of Anton Media Group's special sections.

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