Soup’s On! | The Coziest of Recipes
Research shows how food affects our functioning bodies; there’s evidence to suggest that certain ingredients might make us feel “happy” or “energized.” I love to think about special recipes in a different way—about how they make our souls feel and allow our memories to wander.
Soup can be a magical cure for the body and the soul. I venture to say soup is the best way to foster a cozy, at-ease, blissful feeling. One spoonful can release aches in your body, relax your mind and warm you from the inside out. There is nothing more comforting than settling in for a cool winter day with a hot bowl of soup. So, this winter, do me a favor: Make one of these soup recipes and share it with your loved ones. Close your eyes, picture your favorite things about the season, and spoon it in. Magic!
SWEET POTATO, APPLE AND PARSNIP SOUP
Hello fall in a bowl! This is perfect for the holiday table and has all the classic fall flavors we love.
- 6 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 shallots, chopped ½ Vidalia onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 7 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups apple cider (the fresher the better!)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Honeycrisp apple, diced, for garnish
Preheat oven to 425. Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss together sweet potatoes, parsnips, shallots, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon. Place on sheet tray and roast for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove and set aside.
In a large Dutch oven, gently bring vegetable stock, vinegar and cider to a boil over medium heat. Add the sweet potato mixture and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a blender, puree until smooth. Depending on blender size, you may have to do this in batches. Return to Dutch oven and stir in butter and pepper. Taste to see if it needs more salt. To serve, garnish with diced apple.
VELVETY MUSHROOM AND HAZELNUT SOUP
This is my all-time favorite soup. It is decadent with nutty and woodsy flavors of fall.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 15 sage leaves
- 2 ½ cups mushrooms, sliced (use your favorites)
- ½ cup hazelnuts, skinned, roasted and coarsely chopped
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Sour cream and minced chives for garnish
In a large Dutch oven, over low heat, brown butter to a deep brown color and nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn. Add garlic and sage and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. You should really smell the sage and nutty butter. Turn up the heat to medium-low and add the mushrooms and hazelnuts. Mix to combine and cook until mushrooms are wilted and the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Stir in stock, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to a low simmer. Place lid on the Dutch oven and simmer for another 20 minutes. Lift lid and stir in heavy cream. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Using an immersion blender (a stand-up blender will work too), partially puree the soup, leaving some chunks of mushroom for texture. If using the stand-up blender, add soup back to the Dutch oven, warm it up, and season for taste. To serve, add a dollop of sour cream and minced chives to the top.
SPICY SESAME PORK SOUP
This soup looks like it has a lot going on, but don’t worry, it’s fairly easy! It is deep, rich and satisfying.
- 4 eggs, medium
- 3 ¾ cups chicken stock (if store bought, buy low sodium)
- 4 tablespoons red miso paste
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
- 2 cups water
- 3 ½ cups mei fun noodles (thin rice noodles)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups ground pork
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 jalapeño chili, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
- 1 ¾ cups bok choy, leaves separated (napa cabbage works well too)
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- Lime wedges and chopped peanuts to serve
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add eggs. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes. If you prefer a firm yolk, leave for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover the pot. Allow to cool for 8-9 minutes, then place eggs in an icecold water bath. Peel, slice in half and set aside.
Pour stock into a large stockpot over medium heat. Whisk in miso paste, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Allow to simmer gently, stirring often. Be careful not to burn, as miso can get very bitter. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Place noodles in a colander and slowly pour the boiling water over the noodles. Rinse with cold water. Once drained, arrange in four soup bowls. In a large fry pan, over medium-high heat, add olive oil and ground pork. Break up lumps of pork, and brown. Once browned, add garlic, jalapeño, brown sugar and soy sauce. Cook for another 3 minutes. There should be no pink pork.
Add bok choy to the stock and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until slightly wilted. Ladle stock and bok choy evenly over noodles. Divide pork amongst the bowls and garnish with egg halves, red onion, lime wedges and peanuts. ✦