Wisconsin winters are unpredictable. Sometimes short sleeve shirts are worn until Thanksgiving, other times heavy, winter coats cover Halloween costumes. No matter what, January rolls around and the gray skies and cold toes make you want to bundle up and hibernate. That’s why every January we celebrate the quickest, heartiest, warmest meal you can make. It’s a supper you can sip, an exquisite elixir, yes, January is National Soup Month.
You get to an age where socks make a great gift, well, we’re here to tell you: soups are the socks of the food world. Soup creates so many culinary opportunities. It’s known to include all types of food with outstanding health benefits. Remember how you’re supposed to eat four and half cups of fruits and vegetables a day? Soup can help with that. The nutrients you’re able to include in one spoonful of stew is unlimited as soup easily lends itself to experimentation. Its ingredients make the same savory flavors compared to, say, your favorite casserole, but it fills you up quicker! With all the additional liquids it will even keep you hydrated. Soup is a magical meal, it feeds your body and it feeds your soul.
In medieval times, peasants relied on thin soup from a stock pot which was endlessly topped up. The broth was a by-product of cooking meat, and was served over thick pieces of bread known as ‘soppes’, and eaten without a spoon — hence the word, soup. But that’s not where it started, soup has been around since 6000 BC, that’s over 5,000 years ago! We won’t include the first soup ever discovered since hippopotamus could be hard to find. But in this blog, we will go over a few of our favorite soup recipes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a master chef or if you just retired your Easy-Bake Oven. Even though immersion blenders, or blenders in general, are easier to make some of these bountiful broths, there are still a few soups that only require a pot and a spoon. Here are some classic soup recipes that may be easier than you think.
Chicken Noodle Soup is the most eaten soup in the world. It’s best known as the soup to fight colds and flus. With its vitamin rich ingredients, this soup builds the immune system with nutritional ingredients, keeps you hydrated with electrolytes and feeds your soul with savory carbs. Studies show that each can of soup contains around 216 noodles, measuring 32 to 34 feet of noodles. Campbell’s creates over a million miles of noodles for soup each year, enough to circle the Earth 40 times!.
- Add the butter to a large pot on medium heat, cook onions, garlic, celery, salt and pepper for 3-4 minutes or until translucent before adding in the broth, chicken, carrots, and thyme.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove chicken and shred before returning to soup with the cooked pasta and Serve!
Arguably the second most popular soup in the world, tomato soup, is commonly paired with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. This soup is easily identifiable as a Campbell’s soup can which was the inspiration for artist Andy Warhol in his iconic pop art, Campbell’s Soup Cans, back in 1961. Warhol’s piece consists of 32 screen printed soup cans which helped usher the pop art movement to the United States. The most expensive of Warhol’s work sold for $11.7 million dollars.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the tomatoes and onion on a baking sheet (If using larger tomatoes, cut them into fourths.) Toss with olive oil and salt and spread out evenly.
- Place the garlic cloves on a large piece of tin foil and drizzle with a little oil. Wrap the garlic up tightly and place on a baking sheet.
- Roast for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- While tomatoes are roasting, start roasting the peppers.
- Gas Stove method: Turn two gas burners on high. Place a red pepper on each gas burner and allow the skin to char, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Use tongs to rotate the pepper so each side is black and blistered. Do not walk away from the peppers.
- Broiler Method: Turn on your broiler. If you don’t have a broiler that is separate from your oven then you will need to wait until the tomatoes are done roasting. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and place them as close to the broiler as you can. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until all the sides are well charred.
- Once the peppers are charred place them in a large mixing bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the steam to help loosen the skin, about 5 minutes.
- Use a paper towel to peel off most of the blackened skin from the red pepper. Make sure to leave behind some char as it adds that smoky flavor.
- Cut the bell pepper, removing the core and seeds.
- Allow the roasted tomatoes to cool slightly. Add all ingredients to your blender, including the red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and olive oil, working in batches so that the blender is only halfway full at a time. Blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed: more salt to bring out the flavor, or a little red wine vinegar for more tang, or red pepper flakes for a little more heat. Serve!
Panera Bread first opened its doors in 1987, and the chain took off at a rapid pace. More than three decades later, there are now over 2,000 bakery-cafes scattered across 46 U.S. states and Canada. Their most recognizable menu item is the classic bread bowl, usually paired with broccoli and cheddar soup. Although delicious, Panera’s soup usually arrives at the store in a frozen brick and is thawed to order. If you want to taste a fresh batch of broccoli cheddar, you have to give this recipe a try!
- In a large pot, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. At this point add garlic and let cook for one minute.
- Add in flour, and whisk together to cook out the raw flour, about a minute or so, to make a roux. Make sure to whisk constantly so the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- Gradually add the chicken stock to your roux, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking constantly. It will seize up before it gets smooth, so don’t worry if it looks clumpy as you whisk in the stock. Finish adding in the stock, then pour in the half and half. Whisk to combine with the chicken stock, then turn the heat up to medium-high until soup begins to come to a simmer.
- Once the soup starts to bubble, add the partially steamed broccoli and shredded carrots to the pot. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, or until both the broccoli and carrots are completely tender. If you want a smooth soup, puree either some or the entire pot of soup with an immersion blender before adding the cheese.
- Turn off heat, and add the cheddar cheese to your soup. Stir it in well then season with salt, cayenne, paprika and pepper to taste. Serve!
Onion soups have been popular at least as far back as Roman times. Throughout history, they were seen as food for poor people, as onions were plentiful and easy to grow. Rumor has it that King Louis XV of France returned late one night to his hunting lodge, and all that was on hand was onions, butter and champagne. He mixed them together, cooked it and had the first French Onion Soup. Now I know there are some crucial alterations from King Louis’ recipe, but champagne isn’t too far away from modern day french onion soup which usually uses sherry.
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper, and flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the beef broth and add bay leaf to the pot. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Taste the soup and season to taste.
- Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast under a broiler for 2-3 minutes.
- Spoon soup into 4 oven safe bowls, place desired baguette slices on top of each bowl of soup. Sprinkle on grated gruyere and parmesan.
- Place bowls on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Heat under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly brown. Serve!
Ye Olde Union Oyster House in Boston has been continuously operating since 1826, and started serving clam chowder by 1836, helping to establish the creamy comfort food as a true American mainstay and seafood staple. Although the creamy goodness that is New England clam chowder, Manhattan, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Long Island, Hatteras, and Minorcan also have their own variety of clam chowder.
- In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels, set aside. Add butter to the bacon fat. Saute celery, leek and onion until tender. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Stir in potatoes, broth, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup of half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into the soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in clams and juice and remaining half of half-and-half; heat through (do not boil). Turn down to low heat; add bay leaf. Cook for additional 2-3 minutes on low heat. Add in 4 strips of crumbled bacon. Serve!