The holidays are over, but maybe you still have some leftover ham? Or maybe you’re just craving a stick-to-your-ribs soup on a chilly winter day. There’s nothing like a hearty bowl of split pea soup. Over the years, I’ve tried several different recipes, but none of them seemed like “the one.” They were too smoky, or too salty, or just had the wrong flavor.
Desperate to satisfy a craving, I gave one more recipe a shot, adapting it a little bit, and I finally came up with a winner. When your husband exclaims, “This soup is awesome!” and your 6-year-old asks to take to school for lunch the next day, well… you know it’s got to be pretty good.
Hearty Crock Pot Split Pea Soup
1 1/4 cup of dried split peas, picked over and rinsed
4 cups water
2 chicken boullion cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/2 – 1 lb. of ham, diced
1 bay leaf
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Check on the soup about halfway through. Add more liquid if necessary. Prior to serving, use a potato masher to mash ingredients slightly and thicken the soup.
This recipe can easily be doubled, and next time I may have to do that. Top the soup with oyster cracker or croutons, or serve with a buttered roll.
I know. There are a million recipes for potato soup out there. But you know what? This is a recipe I have been making for years and years. I can’t remember if I started making it while in college, or just after I had graduated, but either way it’s a long time.
My friend Kelly (of the Easter Nest recipe) and I have long been Crock Pot afficianados (way before it was a cool thing again). And I consider this to be our soup. With just a few ingredients, the recipe is easy to throw together, forgiving, and (most important), super-yummy!
It’s been cold lately. Really cold. And we’ve all been enjoying lots of hearty soups. This season, Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup has emerged as my family’s all-time favorite soup. (At least for now.) Luckily, it is simple to make and we almost always have the ingredients in the fridge or freezer. It’s perfect for a simple Sunday dinner, but quick enough to whip up for lunch.
Because it is a rather heavy soup, I suggest pairing with a crisp salad. That’s what we like to do.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
5 Tbsp. butter
1/3 c. diced celery
1/2 c. diced carrot
1/2 c. diced onion
1/2 c. frozen peas
6 c. chicken broth
2-3 chicken bouillon cubes (optional)
2 c. egg noodles
2 c. diced cooked chicken
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 1/4 c. half-and-half
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Saute carrots, onions, and celery until they are soft (about 5 min.) Add the chicken broth, bouillon (if using), chicken, and egg noodles. Bring to a boil then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 min., stirring occasionally. Add the frozen peas to the soup.
Mix the flour and poultry seasoning together in a small bowl. Set aside. Melt 4 Tbsp. of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour mixture to the melted butter, a little at a time, stirring constantly until the roux is smooth. Slowly add the half-and-half, again just a little at a time, constantly stirring until there are no lumps and the mixture is slightly thickened. Stir the sauce into the soup. Add pepper to taste.
To me, fall is all about squash. Spaghetti squash, acorn squash, and especially butternut squash. I enjoy it prepared pretty much any way possible, but my “go to” recipe is for a soup that is simple enough to whip up for lunch whenever I have a craving (so long as I have a fresh squash on hand, that is). I like to pair the soup with a salad consisting of greens, goat cheese, cranberries, walnuts or sunflower seeds, and honey balsamic dressing.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium butternut squash
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
salt, pepper, olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half and discard seeds (or save and roast them if you’re ambitious). Drizzle flesh with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt or pepper if you feel like it. Place the squash face-down on a foil-lined baking pan or cookie sheet along with the onion quarters and garlic cloves (which you should also drizzle with olive oil). Roast for about 40 min. or until the squash is soft.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a medium saucepan and add the chicken broth, curry powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender or in your food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
The sour cream is optional, of course, but I really feel like it gives the soup a delicious tang. If I have chopped walnuts on hand, I like to add those to the soup as well. I know, it sounds a little strange, but they add a delicious crunch in a soup that lacks a lot of texture.
This week I am counting down to 2012 with SnoWhite from Finding Joy in My Kitchen. She is inviting readers to join in the fun by sharing their very best recipes of 2011. Today’s theme is soups and stews. This was an easy one for me. My black bean soup became one of my most-prepared quick dishes of the year. It’s fast, healthy, and spicy. All of my favorite things! So click on the recipe title to get all the delicious details!
I don’t know about you, but I love soups any time of year. I started playing around with this recipe last summer and it has become one of my favorites! In my opinion, it’s almost (almost) as good as Panera’s vegetarian black bean soup — my all-time favorite! Although I have not tested this recipe in a slow-cooker, I’d bet that you could throw everything in and let it simmer away while you’re out.
Spicy Black Bean Soup
2 15-oz. cans of black beans
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 c. diced onion
1 fresh jalapeno, minced
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
cilantro, lime wedges, extra chopped onions, and plain yogurt or sour cream
Pour the canned beans along with their liquid into a medium sauce pan. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Gently bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for one hour. Add more water or broth as necessary.
For a creamy soup, use an immersion blender or add soup, in batches, to a blender until it reaches your desired consistency.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro, onions, yogurt or sour cream, and lime wedge. The squeeze of lime adds a lot of flavor and freshness to the soup. It’s good without it, but it’s better with it 😉