A Taste for Adventure

By Alicia Pettis

7 Sweater Weather Soups

Ahh, soup season! The cold weather is no match for a steaming, hot bowl of soup. It’s a cozy, hug in a bowl, and very easy to make. Perfect for realizing the Hygge lifestyle.

I love soup! It’s warm, tasty, and contains lots of nutritious ingredients. Plus, it is usually made in huge batches, so there is always leftovers.

Below I’ve listed 7 of my favorite soup recipes. Most are vegetarian, and can even be made vegan. Only one contains meat. Many of them are made with vegetables that are in season during the Fall and Winter months. Four of them require either an emulsion blender or regular blender. All except one can be made in under an hour and a half.

1. St. John’s Club Kale Soup (aka Portuguese Soup)

When I was 7 years old visiting Plymouth Rock on a family vacation, we ate at a local restaurant where we all were enamoured by the delicious soup of the day: Portuguese Soup. It was so good that my mom scoured the internet for a recipe to recreate this soup for us at home. Thus, she found Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for St. John’s Club Kale Soup, which we call Portuguese Soup.

Time: Two and a half hours. A good bit is spent simmering the soup. Plus, if you use dried beans, you need to soak them overnight.

Difficulty: The prep of the dried beans might add difficulty. If you would rather use canned beans, you certainly can, as it will shorten the prep time.

Personal Tip: While the recipe calls for either chorizo or andouille sausage, I prefer linguica (lin-gui-sa). It’s a Portuguese sausage that I always loved to eat while visiting my cousins in Maine. It can be hard to find in the grocery store, so I recommend ordering it online from Gaspar’s.

2. Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut & Turmeric

As a white American raised by a family who loved to cook, we really only cooked dishes from Western European cuisines. While we ate ethnic food at restaurants, I didn’t have the slightest idea on how to properly layer all the delicious spices together to create anything close to what I found outside my home. This soup, however, feels like restaurant quality made right at home! While explains why it is probably the highest rated recipe on the NYTimes Cooking website.

Time: A little over an hour.

Difficulty: Very easy! I think what will trip people up might be ingredients they have never worked with, like coconut milk, turmeric powder, and ginger root. Never fear, these will quickly become staples to you. This recipe helped open my eyes to the wonders of coconut milk in recipes, and how much flavor and richness it can add.

Personal Tip: Make more of the crisped chickpeas than required. You can add them on top or just eat them on their own. They are delicious!

3. French Onion Soup

An absolute classic… This richly flavored soup has some of my favorite ingredients: caramelized onions, red wine, thyme, and melted cheese.

Time: A little over an hour

Difficulty: Two things: not crying while cutting 4 large onions…and making sure to stir the mixture constantly for 10 minutes after adding in the flour to make the roux, or a raw flour taste will prevail.

Personal Tip: To make all the constant stirring of the soup a little more enjoyable, pour yourself a glass of some of the red wine you will add to the mixture. Also, a pair of safety goggles will help with the onion tears.

4. Thomas Keller’s Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter

This silky smooth Butternut Squash soup recipe is time intensive, but worth it. Best made on a weekend or a lazy day, there are a few steps involved in getting this so smooth.

Time: About 3 hours.

Difficulty: Cutting the butternut squash requires some oomph. You can easily avoid this by getting the already cut-up version from the store.

Personal Tip: The recipe requires the usage of “Bouquet Garni” which is just a bundle of fresh herbs. I instead opted for using dried herbs, which I put into a cheese cloth and closed with cooking twine.

5. Seared Broccoli and Potato Soup

Melissa Clark is my favorite NYTimes chef. Everything she makes is delicious, and this soup is no exception! I love the flavor combination of broccoli, parmesan, and lemon. It feels light and almost Spring like!

Time: A little over an hour.

Difficulty: None. I personally find this recipe to be well paced, so there is always something to do, but you are never rushed.

Personal Tip: I recommend roasting the broccoli, instead of searing it. I find it easier to get that even golden brown color by roasting it, and rather than accidentally burning a few in a saucepan along the way. Put the broccoli in the oven at 450* F for 15 minutes, flipping over the florets halfway through.

6. Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Harissa Tomatoes

Cauliflower can be found in just about any recipe nowadays. While used for its bland and blendable flavor, I was drawn to this recipe for its combo with the spicy and flavorful harissa.

Time: An hour and a half.

Difficulty: Not eating all the tomato topping before putting it on the soup. It’s that good!

Personal Tip: Don’t be generous with the harissa or jalapeno. The first time I made this, I used the maximum amount of harissa and jalapeno, which created an overwhelming spice that drowned out everything else. Moderation is key.

7. Simple Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Croutons

When looking at a restaurant menu, I’m always drawn to any dish with mushrooms involved. What can I say, I’m both a garlic girlie and a mushroom girlie!

Time: 1 hour and a half.

Difficulty: Very easy. Your biggest difficulty will be getting lots of different types of mushrooms.

Personal Tip: Be generous with the butter and salt on the croutons, as it pairs well with the mushroom flavors.

I hope you enjoy making these soups and sharing with loved one!

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