What To Eat When Wild Winds Wail

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speedy, Hearty Winter Soups That Satisfy

When wild winds wail and drenching downpours make the armchair look especially attractive, it’s time to plan, not plant. While dreaming into this year’s garden, why not make some splendid soup? On chilly days, nothing is more warming, of both body and heart, then a fragrant pot of homemade soup.

One secret to great soup is to make it ahead and reheat it. Another is to cook soup slowly, for long, patient hours. When neither choice is possible, cooks need to get creative. Here are some quick, satisfying, and inexpensive soups that will taste terrific tonight.

Onions And Garlic And Leeks, Oh My!

WInter is not only chilly, it’s also the traditional time to experience colds and flu. Happily, the noble onion family is especially good at helping those who suffer from stuffy noses and sore throats. Indeed, when researchers learned that Mom was right and chicken soup actually can help help a cold, the benefit turned out to be largely due to the combination of steam and onions.

The entire onion family contains compounds that boost the immune system and help fight infection naturally. Since they also add savor and warmth to almost anything, why not harness those powerful antioxidants at every meal?

An Italian Variation On A Beloved Theme

If French onion soup is a family favorite, rich-tasting Italian Garlic Soup will also please. A snap to make, this sumptuously silky soup is lively with garlic and onions, both of which are famous as cold and flu chasers. The addition of raw garlic makes this soup especially lively but that step may be omitted if desired.

Italian Garlic Soup

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 whole heads garlic, cloves peeled and lightly crushed
1 bunch spinach (about 8 ounces), stemmed
1 cup flat Italian parsley, stemmed
2 slices crusty rosemary- or herb-bread, toasted and cubed
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 cup Asiago or Romano cheese, coarsely grated

In a soup pot, bring broth, hot pepper flakes, onion, salt, and all but 2 cloves of garlic to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Add spinach and parsley and cook until barely limp (2-3 minutes). With an immersion blender or in a food processor (in small batches), puree hot soup with olive oil and remaining raw garlic. Stir in 1/2 cup grated cheese and serve hot, garnished with toast and remaining cheese. Serves 4.

Bring On The Canadian Bacon

Potatoes are always comfort food, and savory Potato And Bacon Soup is especially welcome on a cold winter’s night. Lean Canadian bacon adds protein without much fat, but lean smoked ham is also excellent in this rich-tasting yet speedy soup.

Potato And Bacon Soup

4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
8 ounces Canadian bacon or ham, diced
1/4 cup whole wheat or all purpose flour
1 quart chicken broth, hot
1 bunch kale, stemmed and shredded
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

In a saucepan, combine potatoes, half the garlic, the thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are barely fork tender (15-18 minutes). Remove from heat, let stand for 2 minutes, pour off foam and about half the broth and set aside. In a soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat with remaining garlic, onions, and celery. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until tender (4-5 minutes). Add Canadian bacon or ham and potatoes, stir to coat, then sprinkle with flour, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in hot potato broth 1 cup at a time, stirring as soup thickens. Add chicken broth as needed to cover potatoes by 2 inches. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stir in kale, cover pan and wilt kale (2 minutes). Serve hot, garnished with pepper and sour cream. Serves 4.

A Soup of Seasonal Greens

A seasonal assortment of winter greens, whether Black Tuscan kale, Swiss chard, collard greens or spinach, gives this simple and flavorful Curried Chicken Rice Soup refreshing flavors and splendid nutritional value.

Curried Chicken Rice Soup

2 teaspoons canola or safflower oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, chopped
1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1-2 teaspoons curry powder (mild or hot)
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1/4 cup jasmine or basmati rice
1 quart chicken broth, hot
6 cups greens (kale, chard, collards, and/or spinach), chopped
1 cup cilantro, stemmed

Combine oil, chicken, and onion in a heavy pan over medium high heat. Cook, stirring often, until chicken is opaque (3-5 minutes). Add celery and sweet potato and cook until vegetables are soft (8-10 minutes). Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon curry powder, raisins, rice and broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until rice is tender (18-20 minutes). Add greens, cover pan and cook until wilted (3-5 minutes). Adjust curry seasoning to taste, stir in cilantro and serve. Serves 4.

This entry was posted in Recipes, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What To Eat When Wild Winds Wail

  1. Hi Ann, I just found your blog and have really enjoyed reading through your articles. I’ve been thinking about soup a lot, so these recipes are much appreciated! Thanks for all your words…past, present and future!

    • Ann Lovejoy says:

      Hi Elaine,

      This snow is surely bringing out the soup pots all over the region!
      Hope you find some good recipes here, and please do let me know how you like them.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *