Hearty Soups Are Food For Winter

bowl of potato leek soup and bread

During fall and winter, soups are a staple at our house. I love to make soup. It is easy and hard to mess up. This is important, as I am not really a great cook. In the past, I have made some truly awful stuff.

The most memorable was when Bob and I first got together. I made a Lamb and Apricot dish. It sounded so good and I love apricots. The problem was I didn’t read the complete instructions before beginning. I read the ingredients and glanced at the cooking instructions, but missed the sentence that said:

Do Not Add Salt During Cooking.

Bob was in that “start of a new relationship phase” where you are trying to please the other person. This phase can cause a person to do questionable things in an effort to not hurt the other’s feelings. He was willing to eat this salty mess and even tried to convince me it was not too bad.

I finally took his plate away from him and gave it to my German Shepherd, who would eat anything. The dog took one bite, spit it out and walked away. It is truly sad when even a hungry dog won’t eat your cooking.

Jars of spices

Since then I have gotten better at reading directions and have found over the years that stews and soup really are my best efforts. They are more forgiving.You can taste while cooking and resolve any potential problems. 

 

One rule I follow almost religiously is to add ingredients, especially spices, in small batches so that you don’t overdo any one ingredient. You can always add more, but it is tough to get too much out.

As I said soups are a staple during fall and winter. There are so many types to choose from. The big batch ones repeated every year are split pea, 15 bean, chicken tortilla, and potato leek. But there are occasional smaller batches of other soups such as French onion, barley beef, and broccoli thyme and garlic.

Most batches of soup I make are about a gallon. I have a supply of 24-ounce containers that are perfect for freezing dinner for two. So the freezer always has a quick dinner available.

By the end of summer, we have depleted the supply and I am back studying the recipe books to see what varieties I will make for the next year.

One of the soups this winter that I was especially happy with the results was a potato leek. It was quick and easy to make. The recipe I used is below. It says it serves 6, but I increase the ingredient quantities so the batch I made was double.

Potato Leek Soup

Chopped ingredients for Potato Leek Soup
  • 4 cups chicken broth (can be made from bouillon)
  • 4 - 5 potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 3 - 4 leeks white green chopped and washed thoroughly
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup of heavy cream (could use milk or half & half)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the chicken broth. Add the potatoes, leeks, butter, thyme, and simmer covered for about 20 minutes. Using a potato masher or an immersion blender, roughly chopped the vegetables leaving some recognizable pieces. Add the cream and simmer for about 3 minutes until very hot. Add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle parsley as a garnish and serve.

I hope you try this recipe.  Beside being quick and easy it is economical.  Always a plus in my book.  

 

I also hope that you experiment with various types of soups.  Lighter soups are also good and fast home made food during the summer.  Add a few slices of whatever type of bread or crackers you have handy and diner is served.

 

A Google search on easy soup recipes will give you over 300 MILLION results in a very short time.  So give soup a try. 

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