Souping up Your Dinner Plans


There’s a chill in the air. The autumn harvest is in full swing, the days are getting shorter — and we start to crave warm, comforting foods. In my kitchen, that can only mean one thing: soup! Here are four of my standbys, all of which can be easily sized up and down, frozen for future use — and are sure to please your hungry hordes.

Tomato Soup — 
With a Kick!
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. chopped fresh jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes with juice
3   cups vegetable of     chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk or cream, if desired
Chopped cilantro for garnish, if desired
In large stockpot, sauté onions, carrot, ginger and jalapeño in oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and broth and bring to boil.  Lower heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Cool slightly and purée in blender or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, add milk or cream and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
Tomato soup can be stored in fridge for several days or frozen for several months.  Do not add dairy if planning to freeze.
Serves 4
Split Pea Soup
This hearty potage makes a healthy, simple meal. Adding smoked turkey wings provides a wealth of flavor with minimal effort.  If you prefer to keep this vegan, but still want some smoky flavor you can skip the wings, and add dried chipotle peppers instead.  They’ll bring both smoke and heat, so use with care.
1 medium onion. chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 lb. split peas
2 turkey wings
1 bunch parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In large stockpot, sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery in oil until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the peas and add to the pot, stirring to sauté and coat them.
Add the turkey wings and parsley, and cover with water by about 3 inches.
Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 2-3 hours, until peas are totally softened and turkey meat is falling off the bone. Remove turkey wings, adjust seasoning and serve.
Split pea soup can be refrigerated up to a 4 days or frozen for several months.
Serves 6-8
Squash Bisque
My dear, departed mother-in-law used to make this for dinner the night before Thanksgiving; it hits a perfect autumnal note, and it was a nice, light repast before the bounty of the next day’s feast.
2 Tbsps. canola oil
2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
5-6 cups chicken stock (homemade or low sodium canned)
salt and pepper to taste
In large stockpot, heat oil. Add squash, potatoes, carrots, onions and curry powder and sauté until onions and carrots are softened and fragrant, about 8 minutes.
Add stock to cover; simmer over low heat for 40 minutes, until vegetables are very soft.
When slightly cooled, purée in blender or food processor. If soup is too thick, add a bit more stock. Adjust seasonings and serve.
Butternut squash bisque can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen for several months.
Serves 8
Cream of 
Asparagus Soup
This simple recipe can be used for any “cream of” soup. I’m partial to asparagus, but as we move into fall and winter, it works beautifully with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms — pretty much any vegetable your market can supply.  Note: firmer vegetables like potatoes and carrots need to simmer longer to make sure they are completely soft.
3 Tbsps. butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 lbs. asparagus with tough stems removed, cut into 1- inch pieces
5 cups vegetable stock
½ cup half and half or cream
salt and pepper to taste
In large stockpot, melt butter and sauté onion until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add asparagus, salt and pepper, and sauté 5 minutes more.
Add stock, bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer 20 minutes until asparagus is completely soft.  Cool slightly and purée soup in blender or food processor.
Adjust seasoning, add cream and serve.
Cream of asparagus soup keeps in refrigerator 3 days. If you wish to freeze it, don’t add the cream until you defrost and serve.
Serves 4-6
Keri White has been writing and cooking for most of her life.  Her award winning book, “The Mommy Code” was released in 2014, she has appeared regularly on “Good Day Philadelphia”, and she currently serves on the Board of the Reading Terminal Market.  As the Gentile half of an interfaith couple, she has learned a lot since hitching her wagon to a nice Jewish boy 20-odd years ago.  With help from his Aunt Sarah, she has perfected matzoh ball Soup, latkes, and tzimmes; she continues to experiment with food as a delicious way to blend the family traditions.


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