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Is there anything better in the cold weather to eat than hearty soups, chilis and stews?

If you ask my son, the answer is a resounding NO!  I don’t know why, but the man hates almost all soups.  Claims they taste the same.

Really?  Split pea tastes the same as chili?  Beef stew has the same texture and taste as Chicken with matzo balls?

Whatever-the point is that most of us have been experiencing some cold,wet and nasty weather the last few weeks.  Even here in the great SouthWest-we had freezing temps, then summery 80’s that have now been traded in for 3 days of pouring rain.

When this happens, I love a hearty bowl of soup and to serve it up with a nice homemade muffin.  Or put together your favorite chili, top it with a homemade cornbread batter and bake it up and serve it so that the chili flavors up the sweet spoon bread.

I’m basically a traditionalist with my soups, but I always love to put in a twist.  

Want to have some split pea or lentil?  Swap out some of the broth for either white wine or a good ale.  Both will give these rustic soups a bit more depth.  Don’t have a ham bone?  Not a problem-I often will make either completely meatless.  With the legumes and other veggies my meat obsessed husband doesn’t even notice.  Sometimes I’ll just stir in whatever I have left in the fridge just as I’m ladling it out.  Just put whatever the protein is in the bowl first so the hot soup will heat it up.  

FYI-I’ve even done this with leftover fish and it’s delish!

When doing a stew or chili-try new and different:  green chili and pork (essentially chili verde), or a white chili with cannelli beans and chicken.  Stew?  Use sausage, portobellos and lentils or kidney beans.  Remember to add lots of veggies and finish with a hearty amount of greens.  Try kale, spinach, mustard or beet greens.  They‘re all great.  

Get creative with the homemade muffins as well-they don’t have to be sweet!  Use some bacon and top with a bit of cheddar cheese.  Do a chive and sour cream.  Love garlic-try roasting it first for a sweet finish and then add some crushed red pepper.

These are little changes just to get us all out of the usual soups, but enough that will make dinner a bit more fun and something to talk about!

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Jan 28, 2013
    • happy  I can understand your son completely.  I used to just hate soup.  It was all just bleh to me.

      I think my tastes have changed, plus I learned to make really good soup, and I do enjoy a pot of good homemade soup.  Spare me from that canned stuff though!!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Jan 28, 2013
    • I am with you, Carine, I could live on soup, stew or stewp (ala Rachael Ray).  This past week I made a combo soup/stew using beef cubes, kale, carrots, onion, cubed sweet potato and white potato, minced garlic and added a beef broth and five tablespoons (roughly) of flour and the consistency was perfect.

      Do you have a recipe for a turkey stew or thicker turkey soup?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Jan 28, 2013
    • Marya, you know-my stew/soups (okay from our darling 30 minute cook, Rachael-stoup) usually start by sweating the usual suspects of onions, carrots, celery, garlic and then I decide on a ethnic or flavor profile and toast the spices.  Then I add the protein.  I love legumes!  and if you use the canned ones and use the liquid-that’s a natural thickener.  I only add a little potato, which also gives it some thickening.  I love mushrooms and greens, so I usually add those along w/ any fresh herbs right before serving.

      The beans (even use lentils-they‘re very fast cooking!) will thicken it up quite nicely.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Jan 29, 2013
    • Jotting down some ingredients..thanks!



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