Winter Soups to Chase Away the Chills
Now that winter is here, there's nothing better than a delicious bowl of soup and some crusty bread to warm a frosty night. We have three hearty, yet light, soups that are sure to please the entire family. Why not make double batches and send them off for lunches the next day!
Tuscan Pasta and Chickpea Soup
A bowlful of this hearty soup evokes the flavors of a Tuscan farmhouse kitchen. The fragrant drizzle of herbed olive oil is so comforting, you may want to make extra for dipping crusty bread.
Heat olive oil with marjoram, rosemary and garlic in large saucepot on medium-low heat until fragrant (do not allow garlic to brown). Stir in chickpeas, broth, tomatoes and water. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water as directed on package. Drain well and rinse under cold water.
Spoon 1/2 of the chickpea mixture into blender container; cover. With center part of cover removed to let steam escape, blend until smooth.
Return puree to saucepot. Stir pasta and spinach into soup.
Cook on medium heat until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Drizzle with Herb-Infused Olive Oil
(recipe follows) just before serving.
Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon each basil and marjoram leaves and a pinch ground red pepper in a small saucepan on low heat for 5 minutes.
Strain through small sieve into serving bowl or cup.
Makes about 5 teaspoons.
Creamy Carrot Soup
With its vibrant color and rich, smooth texture, this soup offers a delicious, fresh taste that all the family will enjoy. Even the kids! You don't have to tell them about the vitamin-rich, nutritious boost, if you don't want to.
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion, thyme, bay leaves and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is tender.
Add carrots, water and bouillon; stir. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low.
Cover; cook for 35 minutes or until carrots are very tender.
Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme stems.
Place 2 cups soup mixture in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Continue to blend in small batches.
Pour into large serving bowl or individual bowls.
VARIATION: For Creamy Carrot Soup, stir in 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk after soup has been blended.
VEGETARIAN VARIATION: Substitute 3 vegetarian vegetable flavor bouillon cubes for the chicken bouillon.
Southwestern Chicken Soup
This thick and hearty soup brings home zesty Southwest flavor and adds a hint of heat that is perfect for a cold winter's night.
Pour salsa into large saucepan.
Cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
Add chicken, beans, water, bouillon and cumin.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Stir in evaporated milk; heat through.
Serve with dollop of sour cream, chopped tomatoes and tortilla chips.