Wining & Dining
Take the Chill Off Winter with Warm Savory Soups
1/3/2019 11:45:11 AM

Most folks in Southwest Louisiana love gumbo and chili this time of year. And who doesn’t crave those traditional comfort foods like hearty beef stew and chicken noodle soup when the temperature drops. While those can certainly satisfy the need to warm your belly, consider expanding your repertoire and stir up something different this winter season. Entire cookbooks are written solely on the subject of soups. Soup can be made from just about any vegetable, meat, carbohydrate, and combination thereof. Find yourself some new recipes and have fun experimenting in the kitchen. To help you get started, here are several favorites from Thrive office staffers.

5-Ingredient Black Bean Soup

This black bean soup from Thrive's business manager Katie McDaniel Stevenson is super quick and easy.

3 15-oz cans black beans, with liquid
1 lb (about 2.5 cups) salsa
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced

Stir all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until simmering. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Easy Potato Soup

Try this soup from Thrive’s graphic designer Mandy Gilmore.

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
5 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (5 for thicker soup, 6 for thinner soup)
3/4 Teaspoon salt
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup sour cream
Ground black pepper

Brown garlic in butter for a minute until fragrant. Add broth, potatoes and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Simmer until potatoes are tender 15-20 minutes. Add sour cream to soup and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Using immersion blender, process soup, leaving lots of potato chunks intact. (Alternatively, transfer a portion of the potatoes and broth to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.) Adjust seasonings as needed. Top with whichever toppings you like and enjoy!

Topping Options
Minced fresh chives or scallions
Bacon bits
Sour cream
Grated cheddar
A drizzle of melted (or melted and browned) butter

Create-Your-Own Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soups are a favorite of editor Angie Kay Dilmore because they are so versatile. You can add any variety of veggies to suit your tastes, as well as beans for protein and a host of whole grains to make it filling. Vegetable soups are also super-nutritious.

Start with your choice of broth/stock. Chicken, beef, or vegetable are common varieties. Low-fat or low-sodium options are usually available, if desired.

Choose and chop your vegetable lineup. Carrots, potatoes, celery, cabbage, onion, bell pepper, and spinach all work well. Simmer in broth until the hardest vegetables are tender.

Consider adding a protein. Good bean choices include lima, cannelloni, kidney, great northern, and red beans. You can also add in meats, ie cooked chicken, turkey, lean beef, or sausage.

If you like a heartier soup, add a whole grain, such as quinoa, rice, noodles, or pasta. 

Season the soup with salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice. Try parsley, basil, cilantro, rosemary, or thyme.

Don’t want to ad lib your soup? Try this classic recipe.

2 tablespoons olive oil 
¾ cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1½ cups diced carrots
3 teaspoons minced garlic 
2½ cups yellow potatoes, diced into small cubes 
2 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes 
1 cup green beans 
6½ cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth
1½ teaspoons oregano 
1½ teaspoons basil 
1 teaspoon thyme 
1 teaspoon parsley 
1 tablespoon brown sugar 
bay leaf 
1½ cups corn 
1½ cups sweet peas 
salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, to taste. 

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until carrots are slightly tender to the bite. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add in next 10 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until potatoes are cooked, about 20 minutes. Add in corn and peas and simmer until cooked. Taste the soup and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder until the desired flavor is reached.
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