05 November, 2010

Soup Kitchen

Fall has arrived! I am downright giddy. When the weather cools, I always have more energy, sleep like the dead and get to wear my favorite clothes--cardigans! Please don't ask me how many cardigans I have. It is slightly embarrassing. 

Whenever the temperature dips below the 50s F, I also get a hankering for homemade soup. I could live off soup. It is one of my absolute favorite foods. Nothing beats a piping hot bowl of hearty soup on a cold day with a thick slice of homemade bread or cornbread muffins. Below are some of my favorite soup recipes. They are all very simple, super healthy and taste even better after the second day. I have also found soup is great for a get-together with friends. Make about six different soups, some meaty and some vegetarian, bake a variety of breads and have your friends bring side dishes, salads and desserts. Perfect night.

My Go-To Soups/Stews/Etc.

1) Deborah Madison's Hearty Lentil Soup, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

This is one of the greatest lentil soup recipes I've ever eaten. Delicious complexity of flavor and nutrition. SIDE NOTE: Buy. This. Cookbook. Everything is simple and delicious. It is the perfect cookbook to incorporate more veggies into your weekly suppers. My meat-loving husband and picky-eating daughter like everything we've made from this book. 

2) Julie's Simple Chili
This photo makes me look like Chef Boyardee. Sweet.
Here is my chili recipe. You can add or subtract any ingredients or veggies you want.

1 lb of ground beef, or ground turkey, vegetarian crumbles or ground venison
2 cans of chili beans, or any canned beans you like (black beans and kidney beans are good).
1 can of Rotel (if Rotel is not in your region of the country, use a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes).
1 small can of tomato paste, another if you like your chili thick
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (I prefer a colorful red, orange or yellow). 
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups or so of water
Ground Cumin
Ground Coriander
Chili Powder
Cayenne Pepper

Directions: In a large pot or dutch oven, salt and pepper and brown your meat with the diced onion and bell pepper until the meat is no longer pink and the veggies are soft. Drain off a bit of the fat from the meat, saving about a tablespoon or so in the pot. Add the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans, Rotel and tomato paste. Add some water depending on your desired thickness of the chili and stir until tomato paste has diluted into the water. Bring chili to a boil, reduce heat to low, throw in the spices to your taste, cover, and let simmer for 25 minutes. Remove lid, taste the chili and adjust water, seasoning levels to your taste. Serve immediately with cornbread, shredded cheese, sour cream and scallions. Tastes even better the next day.

3) Heidi Swanson's Miso Soup Recipe, from her food blog www.101cookbooks.com.

Photo by Heidi Swanson from www.101cookbooks.com
I love miso soup, and although we've never met, I love Heidi Swanson. I eat off her website at least once a week. Her recipes are simple, fresh and full of nutritional punch. Every recipe on her website could easily be a stand-alone meal (yes, even the black bean brownies!). 

She also has a beautifully laid-out cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. Check out her granola bar recipe. Have mercy!


  1. Nom nom nom. I love soup season too! We must have a soup-a-thon one evening. : )

  2. You inspired me to make soup this evening! It's spicy and vegetably. I like it but we'll see what Jason says tomorrow when he tries it!!