Stir the Pot This Winter

Heartwarming soups always hit the spot.

We’re stirring the pot this January — literally. The soup pot, that is. Simmer up these three soulful soups for one-pot meals that will warm those winter nights and make clean-up a breeze. One is smoky, two are earthy, and all are steamy bowls of comfort, goodness, and simplicity.

Set the Scene

  • Transform all of those empty holiday wine bottles into a line of glowing natural light.
  • Arrange beautiful loaves of bread in a simple tray, garnished with a mini, fragrant herb bundle.
  • Serve the soups tableside, straight from the pot. Here we go; one soup pan, three ways!

Soup #1: Smoky, Roasted Tomato Soup with Swiss Chard, Mushrooms, and Bow Tie Pasta

Heat up the new year with a deliciously rich and smoky tomato soup.

Ingredients

  • 8 Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise into 4 pieces
  • Granulated sugar
  • Smoked salt
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cumin
  • Olive oil
  • ¼ pound bow-tie pasta
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 8 stalks Swiss chard
  • 4 cups mushroom broth
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons cognac

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Grease a metal oven rack, and place in pan. Arrange quartered tomato slices on the rack. Dust each tomato slice with sugar, smoked salt, smoked paprika, and cumin. Lightly drizzle slices with olive oil. Roast for 1 hour, 45 minutes. Allow to cool on rack.

2. Cook bow-tie pasta, drain, toss with olive oil, and set aside.

3. In a soup pot, sauté the sliced mushrooms and shallots in olive oil, until just tender. Set aside.

4. Using the same pot, add more olive oil, and sauté the garlic and Swiss chard until wilted. Set aside the chard.

5. In the same pot, bring the mushroom broth to a boil. (I use truffle mushroom bouillon cubes for this.) Add roasted tomatoes and whole canned tomatoes with juice to the pot. Pull the pot from the heat, and purée the tomatoes, using an immersion blender. Return the pot to the stove, and add the tomato paste, paprika, cumin, and cognac. Simmer for 25 minutes.

6. Just before serving, add the bow tie pasta, sautéed mushrooms, and Swiss chard to the pot. Heat through, and serve.

TIP: These roasted tomatoes are amazing as an appetizer, on a slice of grilled bread, and topped with herb goat cheese.

Soup #2: Mushroom Soup with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 tender stalks celery, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • 3 cups chopped mixed mushrooms for the soup base
  • Olive oil
  • 32 ounces organic vegetable stock
  • 2 additional cups mushrooms for soup topper
  • Additional fresh parsley, thyme, and rosemary, red pepper, salt to taste, and 1 teaspoon truffle salt
  • Parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish

Method

1. Sauté the onions, celery, herbs, lemon zest, a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt, and chopped mushroom base in a soup pan with enough olive oil to coat ingredients.

2. Once tender, add the stock, and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add a nice glug of olive oil to a small fry pan, and sauté the additional chopped mushrooms, along with a sprinkling of fresh herbs, red pepper, salt, and 1 teaspoon truffle salt.

4. Ladle the soup into a bowl, and top with the fresh sautéed mushroom mixture, shaved Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.

5. TIPS: To thicken and add a bit of creaminess to this soup, I add a leftover rind of Parmesan to the pot as the soup simmers, discarding it before serving.

6. For added flavor and gloss, I also add olive oil and herb ice cubes just before serving. Chop up fresh parsley and pop into ice cube trays, cover the parsley with olive oil, and freeze. The cubes can be used in soups all winter long.

Soup #3: Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Roasting the root veggies deepens the flavor, plus you can do it ahead. Cook the vegetables in advance and store them in the fridge, then reheat them in the broth just before serving.

Ingredients

  • 4 rainbow carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 rutabagas
  • 2 shallots, all veggies peeled and diced
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 to 8 cremini mushrooms brushed clean, trimmed, and quartered
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Dash of black truffle salt
  • 6 cups organic vegetable broth
  • Olive oil for drizzling and sautéing

Method

1. Line a baking pan with foil, and add the carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, and shallots. Drizzle liberally with olive oil. Add leaves from 4 to 6 stems of fresh thyme. Sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. Roast at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until the veggies begin to caramelize and crisp.

2. Cool and refrigerate.

3. Next, sauté the mushrooms in a little olive oil. Sprinkle with spicy red pepper flakes, and hit it with a bit of black truffle salt. Sauté until mushrooms have browned and softened. Cool and refrigerate.

4. Bring vegetable broth to a simmer, and slide in the mushrooms, shallots, and roasted root vegetables.

5. Simmer until hot.

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