For the Love of Soup

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I love soup. It is my favorite meal. You can make them as hearty as you want, full of yummy veggies. They are warming, comforting, and perfect when you are sick. So full of essential vitamins and minerals, you really can’t go wrong with a good bowl of soup. I am sure if ever had to request my last meal, it would include soup and cornbread. My mom loves to tell the story of how, when I was just a toddler, I requested soup every morning so she asked my pediatrician if it was all right to feed me soup for breakfast. The doctor approved and that (literally) fed my love of soup. So naturally, the second the temperature drops below 70F degrees, I am ready to start making homemade soups! My family puts up with my obsession, mostly because I am a pretty good cook and I don’t really give them a choice. The best thing about being the cook is choosing the meal!

I wanted to share my love of soup with all of you, so I went through all of my soup recipes and narrowed it down to my top 3 favorites. I hope you will try them and love them as much as I do. Do not be afraid to substitute ingredients, especially in the vegetable soup. That’s what I love so much about soups, you can really add anything you like and make it your own unique recipe! If your kids don’t like green beans, substitute a vegetable you know they will eat. Make it work for your family. You can also do all of these in the crock-pot on low for as long as you like — soups are better when they are slow simmered. Just be sure not to add dairy or pasta until the last 15-30 minutes.

First up: Sausage and Potato Corn Chowder

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb browned Italian sausage (I use spicy)
  • 12 oz frozen corn
  • 2 boxes chicken broth (I use organic, low sodium or make my own)
  • 5-8 red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 large handfuls of raw spinach, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups milk (or cream)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded cheese (optional)

In large stockpot, sauté onions, garlic, celery, and carrots in EVOO until soft. Add all other ingredients except the milk. If you need more liquid, just add water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft. Add milk or cream and simmer on low until hot. Serve topped with shredded cheese. I use sharp cheddar or mozzarella.

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This one is a crowd-pleaser! I either freeze half of it for a quick mid-week meal later, or we eat left overs for two days, and no one complains! I like to eat cornbread with mine — 2 cups cornmeal, 1 egg, 1 ½ cups buttermilk. I use an iron skillet; cover the bottom with enough olive oil to coat bottom and sides. Preheat the skillet and oven to 425F degrees. Once the oven is preheated, pour the excess oil into the batter and stir, and then transfer the batter to the pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top.


My all time favorite soup: Vegetable with Barley

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup barley
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 boxes chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 8 cups assorted veggies (I used corn, peas, cabbage, eggplant, and green beans)
  • water (if needed)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion, garlic, celery, and carrots in olive oil in large stockpot until soft.  Add chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaves, and veggies. Add water if you need more liquid. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to simmer and let simmer for 30-45 minutes. While that is simmering, cook barley according to package directions and add to soup, simmer 10 minutes. Serve with crackers or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Helpful hint: I double the veggies and freeze half, then I only need to add chicken stock and barley and I have a good, wholesome soup ready to go! You can add meat if you want, I just don’t like meat in my vegetable soup. You can also substitute pasta instead of barley.


And Finally: Chicken Noodle Soup

(Disclaimer: this is a classic recipe and I have no idea where it originated, but I didn’t create it! My grandma taught me how to make it.)

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (you can substitute a rotisserie)
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (or more if you like garlic — it’s got all the medicinal value)
  • thyme
  • parsley
  • bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (you can make your own using the recipe below or just buy it)
  • egg noodles (or noodle of your choice)

Pick chicken of all the meat you wish to use (I only use the white meat), set aside. Chop celery, carrots, onion and garlic and sauté in olive oil until soft. Add stock and seasonings and bring to a boil. Add noodles and simmer until tender. Add chicken and salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken Stock Recipe:

  • 1 whole chicken (giblets removed)
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 head of garlic-pealed, whole
  • thyme
  • bay leaves
  • pepper

Chop the vegetables into large chunks. Add chicken, garlic, and vegetables to stock pot and cover with water (about 3 quarts). Take several sprigs of thyme and bay leaves, make a pouch with cheesecloth and twine, and add to pot. Add pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1.5-2 hours, until chicken is done. Skim anything that rises to the top (like foam) off, and add water if needed during cooking to keep it all covered. Remove chicken, strain stock and either use immediately or freeze for later.

Super easy, but your family will think you made them a big stock of love soup! The kids will tell their friends “My mom makes HOMEMADE chicken noodle soup! FROM SCRATCH!” like it is the biggest sacrifice a mommy can make for her children, promise.

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  1. For the Love of Soup: Second Edition - November 12, 2016

    […] your autumn with more of my favorite soup recipes. If you missed the post last year, you can click here to check it out and get caught up on all of my […]

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