Soup Season

Soup Ingredients

The month of January has been filled with wild temperature swings. The past few days have been frigid, starting in single digits, but staying well south of freezing. And yet, we saw a balmy 50 just this past weekend and 60 one day last week. Climate change is in the air, and something needs to stabilize it.

I do love winter, though maybe not as much as I used to. I certainly prefer winter to summer. The trick is to dress properly. In winter, you can bundle up. In summer, you can only take off so many clothes. My mainstay has been my flannel-lined jeans. That extra layer helps cut the wind and generally keeps me warmer inside and out.

Another trick is eating soup. A bowl of soup is just what the doctor (or maybe the weatherman?) ordered. I’ve made so many delicious pots of soup this month; I just haven’t gotten around to sharing about them.

Here’s a little roundup of my favorites:

carrot soup with tahini and crisped chickpeas

This carrot soup is from Smitten Kitchen. The soup itself is nothing exciting, just a simple carrot puree. What makes this soup special are the garnishes: a lemony tahini sauce to swirl in, crispy chickpeas to sprinkle on top (though flavorful, mine were not very crispy), and za’atar topped pita chips (my new favorite snack). A bowl of this fully-adorned soup is a keeper!

cauliflower soup

This cauliflower soup was recommended by my Dorista friend Teresa from One Wet Foot. My previous go-to cauliflower soup starts with roasted cauliflower. This one does this same. However, Teresa’s soup is seasoned with curry powder. The curry powder also imparts a slight yellow tinge to the soup (you can’t really tell from the photo). This soup achieves a silky, creamy texture without any cream, so it will become my new go-to cauliflower soup recipe. Delicious!

turkey mushroom barley soup

Finally, drawing on inspiration from the freezer, pantry, and refrigerator, I created a pot of Turkey Mushroom Barley Soup. I thawed turkey bones from the freezer to make into rich stock in the slow cooker. To the finished stock, I added a complement of hearty vegetables (about 6 cups in all) and some barley and let it simmer until the barley was nearly tender. Finally, sautéed mushrooms and chopped turkey (frozen leftovers from Thanksgiving) were added to the pot. The result was a thick, hearty soup to warm us from the inside out.

Spring doesn’t usually arrive in these parts until April (optimistically), so there will be many more pots of soup in my future. Do you have a favorite recipe to recommend? Please share!

Turkey Mushroom Barley Soup
Serves 8

8 cups turkey stock (chicken would be fine)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, diced into ¼-inch pieces
2 turnips, peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces
1 cup barley
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, combine stock, onion, carrots, celery, turnips, and barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for 40 minutes, until barley is nearly tender. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet. Saute the mushrooms until they have given up all their liquid and the liquid in the skillet evaporates. The mushrooms should be tender at this point. When the stock has simmered for 40 minutes, the barley should be nearly tender. Add the mushrooms and turkey. Continue to cook the soup until the barley is completely tender and the turkey is warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Posted on 24 January 2013, in Soup, Winter and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. We only have two to four weeks of winter left in Vancouver, but it’s been so cold and damp that my soup cravings are still going strong.

    I’m glad you liked the cauliflower soup! My mother discovered the recipe in the paper and everyone in the family has been making it ever since. The Smitten Kitchen soup is fantastic, too. We skipped the pita for Kevin’s sake, but the rest of the add ins were wonderful. Your turkey soup sounds warm and comforting – exactly what homemade soup should be.

  2. Hi Betsy! Thanks for passing on your favorite soup recipes, they all sound good but I’m really curious about Teresa’s cauliflower soup, I love cauliflower in any form. The bowl of your turkey soup is seriously making me hungry;-). Stay warm- Spring will be here before we know it!

  3. Wonderful soup options! I need to make barley soup soon…you’ve inspired me!

  4. That’s funny, I had printed that SK recipe and its sitting in my “get to” folder :-)
    Yes, it has been hovering between -15 and 10 above here all week and soup is one of the few foods that sounds tempting right now. I want to mainline it right into my bloodstream to warm me up – that combined with the snow and wind are just miserable :-(
    All of your soups look very tempting.

  5. I like the sound of your turkey barley soup. Can’t wait to try it!

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