Soup warms even the coldest days

 

When you are cold, nothing tastes quite as wonderful as hot, steaming soup.

When you are cold, nothing tastes quite as wonderful as hot, steaming soup.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

The cold weather seems to be dragging on, and we still have quite a few weeks left until our winter season comes to a close. Although we in Arizona are not plagued with sub-freezing weather and snow, we have been colder than normal. We need and appreciate our heat, both internally and externally, except perhaps in July and August.

When you are cold, nothing tastes quite as wonderful as hot, steaming soup. It warms the whole body and provides a healthy meal for you and your family. Just add a salad and/or hot bread for a meal your family will love.

It is also a good time to enjoy the wonderful winter fruits and vegetables — squashes, potatoes, citrus and especially apples — that are available at your local farmers’ markets.

 

Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups peeled, diced sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup julienne-cut, peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add sweet potato, fresh ginger, sugar and salt. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Place half of sweet potato mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Return puréed mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Yield: 6 servings.

 

Moroccan Carrot Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2-2/3 cups)
  • 2-1/2 cups low-salt, organic chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, stirred to loosen
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Mix in diced carrots. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Stir cumin seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes; cool.

Finely grind cumin seeds in spice mill. Remove soup from heat. Purée in batches in blender until smooth. Return to same pan. Whisk in honey, lemon juice and allspice. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with yogurt; sprinkle generously with cumin. Yield: 4 servings.

 

Celery, Apple and Fennel Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
  • 1 firm, crisp apple (Gala or Granny Smith), julienned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Whisk olive oil, vinegar, tarragon, lemon juice and sugar in a medium bowl. Add celery and celery leaves, thinly sliced fennel, chopped fennel fronds and apple; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Yield: 4-6 servings.

 

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1-1/4 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 1/2 large onion)
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1-1/3 cups cubed, peeled Braeburn apple
  • 1-1/4 pounds cubed, peeled butternut squash
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups fat-free, organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream, for garnish

Preparation:

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic and apple; cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add squash, sage, salt, pepper and nutmeg; stir 30 seconds or until well combined. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 minutes or until squash and vegetables are tender.

Place half of squash mixture in blender with 1/4 cup evaporated milk. Remove center of blender lid to let steam escape and secure lid. Place clean towel over opening to avoid splatters; blend until smooth. Pour into bowl. Repeat with remaining squash and evaporated milk.

Spoon 1/2 cup of soup into a small bowl or mini pumpkin. Swirl in 3/4 teaspoon crème fraîche, if desired. If you do not have crème fraîche, substitute sour cream. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings (1/2 cup each).

 

Sources: bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

 

 Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 1, February/March 2014.

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