Resolutions, schmesolutions

I'm not going to make any resolutions. I have decided that January is not so much a resolutions kind of month. If anything the cold temperatures, gray skies, and snowy roads are more conducive to a "let's be more like bears" month. (Staying inside as much as possible, check. Grouchiness, check. Thick winter pelt, also check.)

Resolutions take energy. And it's hard to try to drum up energy when it's been dark for 6 weeks and the only place that energy is going to get you is outside, where it's cold. To me, March or April would be better for resolutions because that's when you start caring about life again. January, I have now decided and decreed, is the time to stay warm and eat soup.

So if anybody needs some inspiration, here are a few of the staple soups that might see me through the winter:

White chicken chili (with or without chicken), courtesy of Your Heart Out

Daltongirl's lentil soup:

2 cups uncooked lentils
8 cups water or stock (I use half water, half stock)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stock, chopped
1 potato, chopped
2 T olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 t salt
2 t red wine vinegar

Pick over lentils and wash.
Mix all ingredients except the vinegar in a soup pot and cook until the lentils are very soft, about one hour (30 min for red lentils). Stir in vinegar at the end and serve.

Martha Stewart's "You in a fit of health bought a 16-pound tub of spinach at Costco and now have to find some way to consume it before it goes bad and silently blames you for being a person who destroys spinach and thereby THE WORLD" spinach & pea soup. It calls for 6 cups of fresh spinach and is quite tasty. (I have never bothered with the fussy little frico bowls on top so can't say if they're good or not.)

Cream of pumpkin soup (again, never bothered with the croutons)

GH's Grammy's potato pea soup

Daltongirl's Japanese Ramen soup, which takes about 5 minutes to make. You just add loads of veggies to the boiling water (or broth, if you don't want to use the radioactive seasoning packets found in the 5-cent ramen packages) in addition to the noodles. I like bok choy, carrots, mushrooms, fresh ginger, spinach, whatever. It's good for experimenting (sometimes I add 2 Tbs of fish sauce) and for using up the stuff that's languishing in your crisper. After you take the pot off the heat, stir in 1 beaten egg per person (the hot broth will cook it) & garnish w/sliced green onion if you have it. Good stuff.

Clam chowder. This is the recipe I tried most recently and liked. Until Azucar kicks in with what she claims is the best recipe ever, it will have to do.

So. Anybody have any good soups that should be added to the list? Or just ideas of what you do in January? I am all ears!


East of Eden said... [reply]

Two favorites that I have modified from my Weight Watchers cook books:

1--Great Northern Bean Soup
2 cans great northern beans
2 cans Italian style tomatoes
2 cans veg broth
1 pkg fresh spinach
10 oz cooked ground turkey (onions and garlic in this if you like those things)

Combine all the canned things and the meat. Cook on a medium heat for 15 mins. Right before serving add the spinach and wilt it. You can also put chunks of crusty bread and cheese on the top of your bowl and broil it for 5 mins in the fashion of French Onion Soup. I don't do this as it adds extra calories and fat. There is usually enough for a few days of left overs as well.

Soup 2
Black Bean Soup
1 med onion, chopped up.
1 lb of cooked, cubed pork tenderloin
2 cans black beans
2 cans veg or chicken broth
2 C fresh or frozen corn
1 C of your favorite red salsa
1 C stewed tomatoes
2 cans green chile
1 tsp cumin
3 TBS fresh chopped cilantro
The juice of 2 limes.

Start with a bit of olive oil and sweat the onion, and if you want garlic. Then combine beans, corn, broth, tomatoes, salsa, chilies, cumin and meat in your pot. Cook for 15 mins on a med heat. Before serving a add the lime juice cilantro. You can aslo serve it with sour cream or corn chips.

Good luck...

Lindsay said... [reply]

Here's one of my favorite winter soups:

Italian Chicken Soup

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes (or just shredded)
2 tsp oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp basil leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn (I usually just pour in a can of corn, juice and all)
1/3 cup uncooked thin spaghetti, broken into 2" lengths
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in saucepan. Stir fry chicken pieces until lightly browned. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in basil, pepper, water, bouillon, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in corn and spaghetti. Cover and simmer until all is tender. Garnish each serving with parmesan cheese. Makes 4 1 1/2 cup servings.

Enjoy! And stay warm. :)

Sherry said... [reply]

My favorite soup to make is tortilla soup: http://containyourexcitement.blogspot.com/2007/11/tortilla-soup.html

It was a family favorite growing up, and it is one of the handful of things my husband knows how to make.

Señora H-B said... [reply]

Oh, vegetable crispers. Do you remember our liquid-filled party of a crisper? How in the world did six of us, most of whom enjoyed cooking, share a refrigerator?

Nemesis said... [reply]

Senora, I remember. I also remember that my first big swear word in life ever came from the day grabbed a bag out of said crisper and ended up with someone's ice-cold zucchini decomposition liquid plopped smack onto my jeans.

Señora H-B said... [reply]

Ack! That refrigerator was so disgusting. Every time I open the refrigerator I share only with the Mr., I give thanks.

Anonymous said... [reply]

How about this one...


Oprah's chicken noodle soup - seriously, made exactly as it says here (only with Swanson chicken broth) especially the FRESH herbs (yes - walmart sells these - but way better out of my grandma's garden)

THE BEST ever...

Delish. Enjoy. Hope you likey.

Gravity Gardener said... [reply]

Whenever possible i try to add spinach to the meal for nutritional value

A study called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) concluded that antioxidants found in standard foods were possibly able to help reduce the possibility of contracting an age related eye diseases. In particular, lutein was found to be important in proper eye health and potential issues with a disease called age-related macular degeneration. Spinach and Kale are rich in Lutein...


Gravity Gardener

Jenny said... [reply]

Sounds like you need to schedule a trip to a warm place every Jan.

lilcis said... [reply]

ooh! Thank you for this post! And thanks to everyone for posting their recipes! I made a super yummy crock pot potato soup a few weeks ago. If I remember tonight I'll copy the recipe from the cookbook and send it to you.

PS: verification word = shiltu
With the waves it looks like a new dirty word.

j said... [reply]

To paraphrase The Office's Stanley Hudson, "[January] is a run out the clock situation".

Lady Steed said... [reply]

Thanks for sharing those soup recipes. I recently discovered that spinach is great on pizza--you put it on after the sauce, under the cheese layer and the other toppings you like. You can put a big heaping mound on and it cooks down and tastes great!This is usually how I use up that huge Costco bag of spinach. This big O loves this version of spinach pizza: http://www.recipe.com/twirly-whirly-pizza/

AmiZOOKey said... [reply]

fav soups that I regularly alternate (I think they are all Alison Holst recipes too - she is a well known NZ Cook)
Curried Pumpkin and Bacon Soup - basically a whole bunch of pumpkin, a couple of potatoes, onion, garlic, curry powder, water, stock and bacon (I use ham) - apparently you can also make this using Kumara (Sweet Potatoe native to NZ) - I imagine you sub out the pumpkin but I've never tried it.

Also - Bean Soup (Senate Bean Soup?) - you use a can of mixed beans, a can of kidney beans, a can of tomatoes, oil, onions, garlic, pepper, water and stock, ham (optional) and macaroni - REALLY yum! (I think I have missed some things out here...)

other favs -
Quick Beef and Vege Chowder (we had this last night - we just call it MEAT soup)
Corn and Bacon chowder (I use ham)
A variation on the above which includes celery and creamed corn instead of whole kernel corn.
Curried lentil and vege soup
(sometimes I brown sausages, chop them up and chuck them in this soup)
I've also made a very easy soup once that pretty much consisted of water, stock, a can of creamed corn, onion, salt and skinless chicken breast cut up into tiny pieces - I haven't made it again though as the chicken chopping took AGES!

Anyone interested in any of these recipes feel free to contact me - we'd have a fair bit of coverting (gms to oz) to do though :)

Debbie (Nerd Goddess) said... [reply]

I'd agree with you there. Hence the eating of pie only a week into my "no sugar" thing. To be fair I'm starting back up with a fitness group next week that did wonders to me in the fall, so let's hope I can get back on track. Maybe after some Red Vines.

My very favorite soup is from Crockpot 365, Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/11/salsa-chicken-and-black-bean-soup.html

In addition to her ingredients I usually add in a chopped up bell pepper and onion. And sometimes a little bit of lime juice right before I serve it. Mmmm. So good.

abby said... [reply]

Here's an exotic turn on red lentil soup:


Garam Masala is now one of my favorite spices.

The Washington Post has an awesome Food Section that you should check out.

The other soup I make is my grandma's Potato Soup. It's basically

1 5 pound bag of Potatoes
enough water to cover the potatoes
half a package of bacon
parsley flakes
celery salt

That's pretty much it. It's too fatty to make all the time and kind of gross to see the bacon fat float to top. However, it's really good.

abby said... [reply]
This comment has been removed by the author.
abby said... [reply]

I forgot to say to cut the bacon in little pieces before you put it in the soup.

Azúcar said... [reply]

I use the same lentil soup recipe as Daltongirl, only I add two smoked ham hocks to the simmering pot. Then I shred the tiny bits of ham off the bones and add back into the soup. Grate a little parm cheese on top to serve. YOU'RE WELCOME.

(You can use a ham bone if you recently cooked a ham...haha.)

The Best Clam Chowder Recipe in the World is Emeril's Fall River Clam Chowder, but with a few tweaks: I use chicken broth instead of clam juice because I live with pansies, double the veggies (except the onion) and halve the cream, if you don't have fresh clams, you can use canned chopped clams (not minced.)

I take my chowdah with a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce.

emandtrev said... [reply]

I need to copy all these recipes. I have a pretty tasty recipe for black bean soup, if you are interested. You can make it vegetarian, if so desired.

We can't promise warmer temperatures, but maybe some Indian food with your northern neighbors would be a good combatant for the January blues...

Spitfire said... [reply]

Hmmm. I have no soup suggestions, but by the tone of your post I think it may actually be a good thing for you to consider getting a goal--things are sounding a bit forlornish.

Missy W. said... [reply]

my fave is here:

the sour cream is not optional. use plenty. i start this cooking on my lunch break and by dinner, the whole house smells like heaven.

Desmama said... [reply]

I tried Lindsay's Italian Chicken Soup the other night and it was divine. Really so good. Two thumbs up on that one!

Anonymous said... [reply]

I love when you post about food since it means new recipes to use for our "Healthy Lunch" group that meets every Thursday. They did a yummy pumpkin soup that I was going to type up for you, then I realized it's from the Oct. 2007 Friend magazine and is easily found online. It was way yummy... but keep some extra bacon and cheese on hand to garnish with. :) - Kristy

Kristy said... [reply]

Creamy Tomato Bisque from Martha Stewart...tweaked a little by me

2 Tbsp. Butter -----melt in soup pot.
1 medium onion sliced or chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced or pressed with your garlic press----add these last two ingredients to the butter and cook until transparent.
3 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes
5 1/4 c. chicken broth
Oregano, basil, rosemary to taste.
Sugar to taste (about a teaspoon, maybe?).----Add these last ingredients, squish up the tomatoes with a potato masher or something, and simmer for 45 min to an hour.
Now blend the whole mess in your blender, filling the blender no more than half full (ask me how I know this). You'll have to work in batches. You may think you're done now because it looks so good! But now, add about a cup of heavy cream just to push the whole thing up over the top. Eat it and love it.

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