HOT DISH! Winter Soups

There’s something to be said for the warming—and even healing—power of soup. Really…it turns out mom was absolutely right, and chicken soup actually can make you feel better when you have a cold or flu symptoms (it acts as an anti-inflammatory and temporarily helps speed up the movement of that nasty congestion). And who couldn’t use a little extra help staying warm and well during the winter months?

So, for this edition of Friends@Festival, we are sharing three favorite winter soup recipes, each of which brings its own nutritional (and emotional) benefits to the table!

Midwinter Vegetable Soup


• 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
• 1 med. onion, chopped
• kosher salt
• 1 lg. bunch chard, washed well
• 2 lg. garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1/2 lb. potatoes, diced (peeled, if you prefer)
• 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled, and diced
• 1 sm. green cabbage, quartered, cored, and shredded
• 2 tsp. sweet paprika
• 1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes with their liquid
• 2 14-oz. cans of chickpeas with their liquid
• 6 c. water
• 4 or 5 1/2-inch slices of baguette (or the equivalent
   amount of another crusty bread)
• 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
• Freshly grated parmesan cheese


1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally while you prepare the chard.

2. Pull the leaves off the chard stems, finely slice the stems, and add them, along with the garlic, to the pot. Stack and bunch the leaves, sliver them into fine ribbons, and set them aside.

3. Prepare the remaining vegetables in order—potatoes, carrots, cabbage—and add each to the pot and continue to sauté them as you go.

4. Add the chard last, and when all the vegetables are wilted in the pot, add the paprika and stir for a minute or so.

5. Now add the tomatoes with their liquid, the chickpeas with their liquid, the water, and another 2 teaspoons of salt and turn up the heat. When the pot boils, turn the heat down and simmer the soup gently for 40 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, toast the bread in a 350º F oven for 10 minutes, until it is dry to the touch. Tear the bread into small pieces and sprinkle the vinegar over it.

7. After the soup has cooked, stir in the bread (reserve some for garnish if you like), turn off the heat, and leave it for 15 minutes.

8. Stir again, taste for salt, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a grating of fresh parmesan.


Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup


• 8 c. chicken stock or fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
• 2 (4-oz.) skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
• 1 (12-oz.) skinless, bone-in chicken breast half
• 2 c. diagonally sliced carrot
• 2 c. diagonally sliced celery
• 1 c. chopped onion
• 6 oz. uncooked medium egg noodles
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp. black pepper
• Celery leaves (optional)


1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; let stand for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from bones; shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Discard bones.

2. Add carrot, celery, and onion to pan; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer 6 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and black pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until noodles are done. Garnish with celery leaves, if desired.


Pepper-Corn Chowder


• 1 c.  chopped onion
• 1 leek, cleaned and chopped
• 5  c.  loose-pack frozen whole kernel corn
• 2 14-oz. cans  reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 1 med. red sweet pepper, chopped
• 1/8  tsp.  ground black pepper
• 1/8  tsp.  cayenne pepper
• 3 saffron (optional)
• Snipped fresh chives and/or ground black pepper (optional)


1. Coat a 4-quart Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium for 1 minute. Add onion and leek; cook 5 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Add corn; cook 5 minutes or until corn softens, stirring occasionally. Add one can of the chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until corn is very tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

3. Transfer half the corn mixture to a blender or food processor; cover and blend or process until smooth. Return puréed corn mixture to Dutch oven.

4. Add remaining broth, the sweet pepper, 1/8 tsp. black pepper, cayenne pepper, and saffron. Heat through. Top with snipped fresh chives and/or additional ground black pepper. Makes 6 (1-1/3-cup) servings.

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