Soup simply soothes the soul. It often cures the common cold. All I need is a rounded cup and curved spoon to take the edge off a rainy day. When the weather turns cold, give me soup by the bowlful. Fragrant and filling, there’s no meal quite like it; of course it’s diverse, equally fitting as appetizer or entrée. To bisque and back, from broths to a hearty mélange approaching stew or ragù, here are a few soups to inspire you:
- October Evening Lentil Soup with Spinach (above) by Feed Me Phoebe is picture perfect as is, and works just as well with arugula or other hearty greens.
- Real Food. Good Food.’s Bean and Bacon Soup proves that everything’s better with bacon.
- Porcini powder adds umami to Miso Soup from Andrea’s Easy Vegan Cooking.
- Raw Food Chesham’s Spicy Thai Onion Squash Soup incorporates a panoply of flavors from Southeast Asia.
- Black beans, brown lentils, ground meat, tomatoes; cabbage, carrots, parsley, potatoes: Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup from Bless this Mess lives up to its name.
- From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, Hearty Chicken Gnocchi Soup is a creamy, dreamy indulgence .
Gourmet Live’s latest issue, Sweet Heat, reminded me of what a wimp I used to be about chiles. It took two trips to Mexico—a week’s study with Mexican cooking authority Diana Kennedy at her home in Michoacan, and another week with cookbook author and teacher, Susana Trilling, touring the different areas of Oaxaca to sample some of the many regional dishes containing their richly varied capsicums—to transform me from a chile-phobe to a chile fan. I learned that not all chiles are searingly hot, and that once you get beyond the heat, each chile has it’s own unique flavor.
I’m particularly fond of the big dried Mexican chiles, and these days, I’m finding them in supermarkets everywhere, even in a Walmart in northern New Hampshire. When reconstituted in water and puréed, the resulting sauce is thick and velvety. My cupboards are now stuffed with cellophane bags of anchos, guajillos, pasillas, and fiery little chiles de arbol.
Anchos are probably my favorite, because their heat tends to be milder, and there’s an earthy sweetness to their meaty pulp. I turned to them for a corn chowder I created several years ago, when I was looking for a way to give the soup a rich and creamy texture without adding milk or cream. True, a simple purée of cooked corn kernels and water is pretty darn creamy on its own in a soup, but the chiles add an extra layer of warmth and body. From the anchos to the corn and potatoes—all native to the Americas—this chowder is a bowl of New World flavors.
My soup is just one example of a way to incorporate more chiles into your life. Tell us, what do you like to make with chiles?
Nothing says summer quite like a thick, juicy wedge of watermelon. While we’re perfectly content snacking on the sweet fruit in all its untouched glory, we’re always on the lookout for creative ways to work it into another meal. Find inspiration with five fun recipes for enjoying the season’s star fruit in cocktails, salads, soups, and more.
1. Watermelon Cocktail
What better way to celebrate summer than with a cool, refreshing cocktail infused with fresh fruit? Kick back and relax with our spiced-up take on a classic watermelon cocktail made with chili powder and lime juice.
2. Watermelon Salad
Fruit is a welcome addition to any salad, especially when it’s been infused with the smoky flavor of the grill. Our favorite watermelon salad recipe, contributed by Stone Barns’ executive chef Dan Barber, features grilled watermelon with heirloom tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, tangy Greek-style yogurt, and edible flowers for garnish.
3. Watermelon Soup
Sweet meets savory when fruit enters the chilled soup equation, and we can think of not better way to beat the heat than a refreshing bowl of chilled watermelon soup. Top off your bowl with a drizzle of your favorite olive oil.
While lemonade is the indisputable beverage of choice on hot days, we like to kick up the fresh fruit flavor with a twist on the classic. Our recipe for watermelonade is made with just four ingredients and adds a pop of flavor and color to your summer spread.
5. Watermelon Sundae
When it comes to ice cream toppings, watermelon may not be the first fruit option on your list. But the juicy melon is the ultimate addition to your scoop of choice. Need inspiration? Try our simple recipe starring rich ricotta ice cream, watermelon cubes, and bittersweet chocolate shavings.
What’s your favorite way to add watermelon to a meal?
With the winter chill in the air growing colder by the day, now is the best time for warming and comforting soups. With so many delicious options like chicken noodle, split pea, minestrone, French onion, corn chowder, broccoli and cheddar, and potato leek, it’s a good thing winter is just getting started.
What’s your favorite kind of soup?
From traditional Japanese Nikujaga to flavorful Pho Bo, it’s time to cozy up to a hearty bowl of the season’s best soups and stews. Take advantage of the ingredients already in your fridge or pantry, or experiment with a variety of global tastes from this week’s roundup.
- Cioppino is believed to have started out as an Italian stew with chopped fish, but TasteFood puts a Greek spin on her version, adding a shot of ouzo to the stew stock (pictured).
- Put your fall and winter kale to use with Never Enough Thyme’s Sausage and Kale Soup.
- Cooking. Eating. Carousing. details a simple way to make the soy sauce and honey-seasoned Japanese beef and potato stew Nikujaga.
- Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen shares her version of the Spanish soup Cocido, which is a chickpea-based soup made with the protein-packed trio of chicken, beef, and pork.
- Described as “liquid gold comfort food,” Elise’s Kitchen’s Curried Butternut Soup has a spicy kick that can’t be missed.
- Indonesia Eats’ Pho Bo is a Vietnamese beef rice noodle soup filled fresh ginger, coriander, garlic, and fennel.
- You can’t go wrong with Elly Says Opa’s classic take on French Onion Soup.
Clean out your stock of winter squash with this warm and decadent Pumpkin Soup with Chocolate & Chipotle. Local Kitchen starts by roasting pumpkin with garlic and onion, and then blending with chicken stock and ground chipotle for a smoky, creamy purée. The inviting flavors are amplified by a liberal dousing of shaved chocolate for a sweet finale.
This week’s roundup features the best in warming, comforting and filling stews. From curried potato stew to a vegetarian take on cassoulet, prepare for a weekend full of hearty one-pot meals guaranteed to beat the winter blues.
- Cooking Books made Shaker Bean and Cider Stew using savory smoked sausage, fresh thyme and tender cider-soaked vegetables (picture above).
- Lamb Stew with Sauteed Morning Glory from Marcus Samuelsson combines spicy chilies with sweet coconut milk and creamy avocado to create a unique stew with an international twist.
- eCurry cooked up Curried Potato and Cauliflower Stew with Toasted Peanuts in a rich tomato broth that would pair well with a few slices of hot, garlicky naan.
- Beef, Potato and Quinoa Soup on Gina’s Skinny Recipes is spiced with cumin and would be perfect topped with a few slices of avocado.
- Make Weekend French Onion Soup from The Cooking Photographer to fill your kitchen with the aromas of caramelized onions and bubbling Gruyere cheese.
- Fresh herbs and vegetables meet in this Vegetarian Cassoulet with Garlic Confit from A Little Bit of Everything.
- Chicken and Sausage Cassoulet from Acquired Taste uses creamy white beans and chicken confit for extra rich flavor.
Rebecca Crump of Ezra Pound Cake blends sweet potato puree with freshly squeezed orange juice and leeks to create a comforting main dish designed to combat the winter chill. Paprika-spiced pecans add a final crunch to this creamy soup.
This recipe for Butternut Squash Apple Soup represents a big milestone, as it is the first brand new recipe developed and tested for Gourmet Live. It is the appetizer recipe for our Ambitious Thanksgiving Menu, a collection of eight new recipes along with a day-by-day game plan, which debuted in the current issue. Enjoy this seasonal soup at your holiday table and download the free Gourmet Live app to complete your Thanksgiving spread.
Butternut Squash Apple Soup by Alexis TouchetMakes 8 servings (about 8 to 9 cups)
Active time: 40 min
Total time: 50 min
- 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 lb boiling potatoes
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples (about 3/4 lb total)
- 1 1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 1/2 to 4 cups)
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups water
- Garnish: sour cream Continue reading