Baby it’s cold outside.
As I sit down to write this, it’s 15 degrees below zero outside. That’s damn cold.
I will be the first to admit I am one of those weirdos who actually loves cold weather (though I could do without the snow and ice). One of the fun things about winter is the comfort food to warm you up.
If you’re like me and love soup this time of year, I have two super easy recipes that are going to knock your socks off. They’re cheap to make, delicious, require few ingredients, and are actually quite filling.
Just kidding…SOUP FOR YOU!!! Treat yourself to easy, homemade meals that you don’t have to share with anyone else. Both soups keep well so you can eat them over a couple days. Pair with bread and salad, and you’ve got a full meal!
So grab those ladles ready and let’s go.
French Carrot Soup
This first recipe is one I’ve never seen written. My best French friend’s eighty-year-old mother taught me how to make this, and I’ve been hooked on it for about fifteen years.
It’s a thick, hearty soup, and it’s perfect to make when you have veggies in the fridge or pantry that are past their prime. You can tweak the recipe and put in leeks, squash, or parsnips. Don’t want to make so much soup? The amounts don’t matter. All you are doing is boiling veggies, then puréeing them!
- 2 pounds baby carrots
- 1 potato
- 1 onion
- 1 zucchini
- Seasoning to taste—I prefer red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning
- Peel and chop all the vegetables except for baby carrots.
- Put all ingredients in a large pot filled ¾ with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat when vegetables are thoroughly cooked and easily speared with a fork or knife—about 45 minutes.
- Removing vegetables from water, put in blender and purée. Use about two cups of the boiled water to thin out the soup.
- Serve when hot. I added a dollop of sour cream here. You could also use crackers, croutons, bacon bits, or sunflower seeds.
Tiny Pasta Soup
One of my all-time favorite cookbooks is Joanna Farrow’s Cooking with Just Four Ingredients. I don’t have the patience for tons of ingredients, so I appreciate how simple the recipes are and come out delicious.
This soup is lighter than the previous recipe, but I made a full meal of it with ciabatta bread and a salad. The itty bitty pasta is super cute and while I used stellette (stars), you can use orzo, farfalline (little butterflies [bowties]), or anything else tiny that strikes your fancy. Hell, you can even use alphabet pasta!
- 5 cups of beef stock (I recommend low sodium as mine was waaaaay too salty)
- ¾ cup dried pasta
- 2 pieces of jarred, roasted red bell pepper
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
- Bring beef stock to boil in a large pan. Add seasoning to taste (I used red pepper flakes), then drop in the pasta. Stir well.
- Reduce heat so that the soup simmers and cook for seven or eight minutes until the pasta is al dente.
- While soup is simmering, drain the red pepper slices and dice them finely. Place them at the bottom of the soup plates.
- Serve soup immediately with the Parmesan cheese to taste.
I hope these two recipes have inspired you to get in the kitchen and play around a little bit. They are absolutely perfect for this time of year, inexpensive, healthy, and keep easy as leftovers. Wow your friends with what a great cook you are, or enjoy it all to yourself!
What is your all-time favorite soup? Comment bel