The bitter January wind makes me want to warm up with a nice cup of coffee or tea and a big bowl of hot soup.
I love soup any time of the year, even in the summer, but winter just seems to be the most fitting for the hot dish. A cup as a dinner starter or a huge bowl of hearty soup as an entree - either way, it really warms my bones!
The following are a few easy soup recipes that you can throw together quickly.
Curl up with your blanket and slippers and sip on a nice cup of hot soup as the cold wind whips outside.
Black bean soup
(Adapted from about.com)
2 15-ounce cans black beans, undrained
1 16-ounce can vegetable broth
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder (use more or less, depending on your taste)
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional, non-dairy for vegans)
Sour cream (optional, non-dairy for vegans)
Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
Mash one can of black beans with potato masher or food processor.
Pour both cans of beans into medium saucepan. Add vegetable broth, salsa onions and chili powder. Bring to a boil.
Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, onion and cilantro.
Tomato basil soup
(Adapted from allrecipes.com)
4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups tomato juice
10 leaves fresh basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream (or Silk non-dairy creamer for vegans)
1/2 cup butter (non-dairy for vegans)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place tomatoes and juice in a pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves and return the puree to the stock pot.
Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the cream and butter.
Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.
Reppert is the Lifestyle and Education editor at the Sun-Gazette. Her column is published on the second Wednesday of each month in the Food section.