Winter Soup for Long Winter Daysposted on January 8th, 2012 / by Amy Whiteley / 4 Comments
December was such an amazing month. I absolutely love that time of year. This year I focused on teaching my two-year old daughter about Christ’s birth, and we had so much fun doing it. I don’t think it crossed her mind once I was teaching her something because we were simply playing with her nativity set, which had a prominent place among our Christmas decorations.
However, sometimes after Christmas it can be a let down from the busyness. We are tired and ready for some down time, and I know for some, we are trying to escape the cold weather that we see a lot of in January and February. I also imagine there are many of you who make New Year’s Resolutions. I know I do, and every year they seem to be similar: spend more quality time with the kids, lose weight, eat healthier, stop procrastinating, etc. The first thing I tackle on my list is eating healthier, because I know when we eat healthier foods we will have more energy to complete our to-do list, as well as spend time with those we love. So I decided to share some of my favorite cold weather soups that I find easy to make and very comforting. I love being warmed from the inside out.
Sausage and Black Bean Soup
yields 4 servings
takes approximately 15 minutes from start to finish.
7 oz. smoked sausage, turkey sausage is a healthy alternative
1 c. diced bell pepper, green, red or yellow your choice
1 (14 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ c. chunky picante salsa
¼ c. chopped cilantro (optional)
2) Add the diced bell pepper to your sausage and sauté’ an additional minute.
3) Add in broth; bring to a boil.
4) Reduce heat and add in the beans and picante salsa; simmer for 5 minutes.
5) Top with cilantro and serve.
We like to eat this soup with cheese quesadillas.
yields 10 servings
slow cooker soup, but can be made on the stove as well with decreased cooking time
14 oz. smoked sausage, cut into slices; turkey sausage is a healthy alternative
3 c. diced Russet potatoes
2 c. diced onions
½ package of coleslaw mix, no dressing; found with pre-bagged salads
1 c. carrots
1 c. frozen green beans
1 (14 oz) can Kidney beans
4 (14 oz) cans beef broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ c. Italian parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced Italian tomatoes
1) Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; brown the sausage for about 8 minutes, stir frequently.
2) While the sausage is browning layer your potatoes, onions, coleslaw mix, carrots, green beans, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, dried thyme and pepper in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.
3) Top vegetables and spices with the sausage.
4) Add in beef broth and cover with a lid.
5) Cook on high for 1 hour; reduce to low for an additional 8 hours or until veggies are tender. (If necessary, you could forego cooking on high for 1 hour, but that will increase the amount of time necessary on low.)
6) Discard bay leaf, and stir in tomatoes.
This soup is great served with a crusty French bread. I like to use my bread maker and set it so the soup and bread are done at the same time.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
yields 8 servings
3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes – baked; you can use Russet potatoes in a pinch
1 ½ c. half and half
1 ½ c. milk
1/3 c. flour
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 c. favorite bacon, cooked (we like apple-wood smoked bacon)
2 c. cheese, shredded
3 tsp. salt
½ c. butter
Fresh cracked pepper
1.) Scrub and bake potatoes at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until tender; cool before peeling. Once potatoes are cooled, peel and slightly mash them with a potato masher.
2.) Pour milk and half and half into a Dutch oven or large pot, sprinkle flour over milk and whisk as you add it in. Heat the milk and flour over medium high heat until thick and bubbly, whisk continuously to avoid scorching.
3.) Turn the heat to low and add in the potatoes, garlic powder, salt, cracked pepper, cheese, sour cream, butter and bacon bits mix thoroughly. Continue to heat the soup until the cheese is melted and it is completely warmed up. Do not let it boil.
4.) Serve the soup topped with additional shredded cheese, chives and a few bacon bits.
I hope you have enjoyed just a few of my favorite soups. You can stop by Kitchen and Kids for additional soup recipes and such. I hope to see you there!