As the weather drops, we look for ways to heat us up. Whether we bundle up in a cozy sweater or wrap ourselves with a soft scarf, there are tons of ways to keep warm in the winter. My absolute favorite way to warm up is from the inside with a tasty soup.
Soups are wonderful because they are so versatile. Every cuisine has different soups that are special from one another and offer a completely different taste. It’s also very easy to put together. The broth allows for all the ingredients to mix together and create an awesome flavor. The best part is you can add or take away anything that doesn’t appeal to you or your family.
A lot of soup recipes call for a mirepoix (aka the soup trifecta), which is sauteed onion, celery and carrots. Cooked together in butter, it releases a wonderful aroma. Traditional chicken noodle soup uses a mirepoix and so does my all-time go-to soup recipe. Instead of using plain noodles, I opt for cheese-filled tortellini.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carton chicken broth (32 oz)
- 2 cups water
- 1 package dried cheese tortellini
- salt/pepper to taste
- grated Parmesan cheese
Heat large pot on medium-low heat. Add butter, garlic, onion, celery, carrots and cook for about 10 minutes. Add broth, water and dried parsley to boil, then reduce heat. Add tortellini and cover to simmer for about 10 minutes, until tortellini is cooked.
Serve in a bowl and top off with grated Parmesan cheese. I like to add a side of garlic bread. Jazz it up more by adding cooked chicken with the tortellini and cook for a couple of minutes more.
A more hearty soup is good ol’ Beef Stew. Cook through cubed beef in a couple tablespoons of cooking oil in a large pot. Mix together 4 cubes of beef bouillon, broken up and 4 cups of water in a separate container. After everything is dissolved, transfer it to the large pot. Then add, 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon of dried parsley and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour (allowing the meat to tenderize). Then, stir in 3 potatoes, 4 celery stalks, 4 carrots (all chopped to 1 inch pieces) and 1 large onion chopped. Separately, dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of cold water and pour into stew. Cover and simmer for another hour.
For a more south-of-the-border flavor, Ground Beef Taco Soup would be ideal. It’s an easy recipe that requires you to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot. First, you need to cook 1 pound of ground beef. Then, add 1 taco seasoning packet, 1 can kidney beans undrained, 1 can corn drained and 1 cup of water.
I like to add a can of diced tomatoes in my taco soup and make a cheese quesadilla to serve with it. Top off your soup with some cheese and dollop of sour cream. Yum!
If you’re looking for soup that’s a bit more zesty, try out this Minestrone recipe. You’ll need the soup trifecta again with a packet of Italian dressing mix, diced tomatoes and kidney beans.
This is only a very small sampling of soup recipes that are out there. MilitaryShoppers has a great inventory, so check it out for more ideas.