In the cold winter months, there’s nothing quite like warming up with a hot bowl of homemade soup. To make it a meal, serve it with some hearty bread and butter, and maybe a simple side salad.
Leftover soup can be frozen for later use. If you have lots left, freezing the soup in a family-sized container will make it easy to reheat and serve on a busy weeknight. Frozen in single-serving containers, a warm meal for one is only minutes away.
Carrot and Tarragon Bisque
This rich soup makes a great appetizer at a small dinner party.
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Purée mixture in a blender. May be prepared to this point, cooled quickly and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. To cool quickly, transfer mixture to shallow containers and stir frequently.
Return mixture to pan. Stir in next 6 ingredients (tarragon through celery seed) and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Serve immediately. Serves 4 as a starter.
Hearty Winter Soup with Chorizo
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.
Drain off all but 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) fat from pan. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add carrot and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
Return sausage to pan. Stir in remaining ingredients (kale through salt). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes or until barley is tender. Serves 6 to 8.
Cook's Note: Chorizo is a seasoned, spicy pork sausage used in Spanish and Mexican cooking. Look for it in the deli department of grocery or specialty stores.
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