It’s Winter & Soup’s On!

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Soup is one of the best parts of winter. It’s warm, it’s comforting, and one pot meals are super easy. Plus the varieties are endless. And as I discovered last year, January is National Soup Month. So I had to share with you a couple of my tried and true favorite soups to keep you nourished and healthy through the winter months. I hope you enjoy them. I’d also love to hear about your favorite soup recipes, so please share!

Bean & Chicken Sausage Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 12-ounce package fully cooked chicken sausage links, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

**Marci’s suggestion: I’d also throw in crushed red pepper and a dash of your favorite Italian seasoning blend. I love seasoning blends and blogged about them here Spices are my all-time favorite for blends.

1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed

1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

**Marci’s suggestion: if you like heat, get fire-roasted for added flavor 1 bunch kale leaves, torn into 2-inch pieces
**Marci’s suggestion: save time and buy the super convenient bag of pre-chopped kale kosher salt and black pepper

1 loaf country bread (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring once, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic (and any additional spices you want to add) and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the beans, broth, and tomatoes and their liquid and bring to a boil.
Add the kale and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with the bread, if using.


Red Lentil Soup With Lemon
Time: 45 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils (I used yellow lentils, don’t think it mattered)
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste (all I had was a lime, worked great)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (didn’t have on hand, didn’t miss it)
1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.

3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.

4. Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.

5. Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.

Yield: 4 servings