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Tag: Soup (page 2 of 4)

Fabulous February Potato Soup

Warm up with a steaming bowl of this deeply satisfying soup.  Potatoes are so versatile that there are endless ways to give variety to the classic potato soup.  This soup, with potatoes, corn, and barley, is lightly spiced with chili powder and cumin, and flavored with a touch of honey and Worcestershire sauce.  Easy to make, not to mention easy on the budget, this soup is a great answer to the question, “what on earth am I going to make for dinner tonight?”

DSC_0520There are evenings when I ask myself that question, and since this soup is made from things that I usually have in my pantry and freezer, it can get me out of a tight spot sometimes. Just serve it with some good bread and/or a green salad, and you have a delicious, comforting winter meal (and probably leftovers for another quick meal–soup always tastes better the second day).  And feel free to throw in some other ingredients too–leftover noodles or couscous also taste good in it!

potato soup with potatoes 2I have been away from the blogging world for a couple of weeks, since my husband recently had knee surgery to repair an injury he got while playing soccer, and I have been taking care of him.  He has been improving really well, but it is a long process.  That’s why wholesome, comforting soups are so good for our family right now.  When things are out of the ordinary, and everyone needs a little extra care, a good, warm bowl of soup can do wonders.

potato soup with spoon 2Or even when things are ordinary, very ordinary, and the February wind is blowing right through your coat, your driveway is a sheet of ice one day and slushy mud the next, a warm bowl of soup can do wonders.

With my husband being laid up for a couple weeks, I have been doing some of his usual jobs around the house.  One of them is taking the dog out one last time before bed.  Although I am bone-tired by then, I drag myself outside and look up, and if it is a clear night, I am amazed.  All the beautiful stars.  Somehow they seem even more beautiful in the winter, on a cold night.  I am thankful to have to go out and look up.  I hope you all have a great weekend.

potato soup and one potatoDSC_0523-001A bunch of wonderful bloggers are gathering at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Lily @ Little Sweet Baker and Julianna @ Foodie on Board , and I look forward to joining them!

Fabulous February Potato Soup

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 5-6 medium to large potatoes, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup of corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 cup of cooked barley
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups of milk (I use 2%–use whole or half and half for a creamier soup)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chili powder, depending on your taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cumin, depending on your taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • parsley for garnish

Directions:

In a small pot, cook the barley according to package directions.  In a large pot, bring the 8 cups of broth to a boil.  Wash and dice the potatoes.  When the broth is boiling, add the potatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.  Add the corn, Worcestershire sauce, honey, and the cooked barley, when the barley is done.

Meanwhile, wash and chop the celery and onions and mince the garlic.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat.  Sauté the celery, onion, and garlic until celery is tender (it’s okay if the green onion gets a little browned).  Add the chili powder, cumin, and flour.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine.  Gradually add the milk, and stir until thickened.  Add this mixture to the potato mixture in the soup pot.  Simmer until the flavors have had a chance to intermingle.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped parsley, if desired. Serve with bread and/or a green salad. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Cozy Vegetable Soup

What tastes better than on a chilly evening than a bowl of hot soup? Not much! That must be why I am sharing another soup recipe here with you.  This vegetable-pasta soup is made from staples that many of us have on hand, and can be whipped up in a little over half an hour.  The flavor is mellow and comforting, and it is basic enough to appeal to a wide range of people with varying tastes (including, and especially, kids).  This soup actually reminds me of the vegetable soup my mom used to serve to my brothers and me (and any neighborhood kids who happened to be over that day) after we had been out playing in the cold.

vegetable pasta soup on bench 4This is a recipe that I have developed over the years, based on many variations of minestrone and vegetable soups.  I add lots of pasta to help make it filling, and keep the vegetables very basic, so it is a crowd-pleaser.  The broth is so wonderful–a blend of chicken broth, tomatoes, and garlic make is savory without being overpowering.

vegetable pasta soup overview 1My son had a friend over this past weekend, and the boys, my daughter, my husband and I were outside a good portion of the day, riding bikes, tromping through the woods, and throwing stones into the lake.  The kids collected treasures like snail shells and old, abandoned fishing bobbers. The weather was unusually warm and sunny for December, and we all took full advantage of it.  But when it got dark, it got dark fast, and it got cold.  This vegetable soup (served with pieces of flatbread pizza) was a perfect way to warm up and talk about the adventures of the day.

vegetable pasta soup on tableSometimes there is something almost magical that happens when people share a meal together.  For me, it often happens after everyone has been outside for awhile, and often when we are welcoming those to our table who aren’t usually there, and especially when we are not in a hurry.  The food does not need to be fancy or elaborate–just tasty and warm, and lovingly prepared.  As we head into the heart of winter, I hope to have more evenings like this, with comforting food, lively conversation, and sparkling lights in the darkness.

I have read two articles recently about how people in the Scandinavian countries embrace winter in all its cold, dark beauty.  They dress warmly, enjoy outdoor activities, and gather together to eat, drink, and talk by candlelight or around a roaring fire.  Apparently, the Danish term “hygge” describes this feeling of coziness. I hope to experience more hygge this winter, like we did this past weekend, and I hope to learn to cultivate the art of creating it and embracing it.  Best wishes of the same to all of you–warmth in the cold, and lights in the darkness.  Have a great week!vegetable pasta soup in white bowl

Cozy Vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely sliced
  • 7 and 1/2 cups of chicken broth (use vegetable broth if you want to make it vegetarian)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (if Idon’t have fresh, I use 3-4 canned San Marzano tomatoes, chopped)
  • approximately 6-8 ounces (depending on how hearty you want the soup to be) of bite-sized pasta (I like to use orecchiette)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until the onion gets soft. Stir in the carrots, celery, broth, and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let the soup simmer gently for about 30 minutes.  Then, stir in the tomatoes and pasta and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with parsley.  Enjoy!

Lemon Spinach Soup

 

In the midst of the wonderful excesses of holiday eating, it feels good to take a break and make a soup made with pure, cleansing ingredients like lemon and spinach.  This soup is simple, yet the flavor combination of lemon and spinach is glorious.  And we all need the infusion of vitamins and iron that spinach gives, especially at this time of year.

lemon spinach soup with pot and bowl 3I had some lemons left over from making my daughter’s lemon birthday cake (with lemon frosting!), and was looking for a way to use them.  Because I have been craving something deep green and full of nutrients, I came across this delicious recipe for lemon spinach soup, adapted from the charming cookbook “Hollyhocks & Radishes” by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson.  The broth in this soup is so good, I could sip it all by itself! The addition  of the spinach, carrots, and celery make it even better, and the lemon is just lovely.

food for lemon spinach soupLemons are one of my favorite things to cook and bake with in the colder months, because they are so cheerful and invigorating at a time when we are a little short on sunshine. (I would have done a post with the recipe for my daughter’s lemon cake with lemon frosting, but as I was in the midst of preparing for her birthday party, I was too distracted to take any photos. Maybe I’ll have to make it again!)

lemon spinach soup in bowl 4Anyway, soup is so good for the soul.  It is warming and soothing, infusing the body with physical and spiritual sustenance.  Making soup is very relaxing for me, because I love the way each new ingredient changes the mixture, and it is peaceful to have it simmering on the stove as I work.  This is such a busy time of year, and it is important to take some time to do something healing and relaxing, so you can calm yourself and not end up driving everyone around you crazy (not that I would know anything about that! :)).  I absolutely love holiday baking, and there will be some more of that to come on this blog, but sometimes I crave a good, nutrient-rich meal that offers comfort and a boost of energy.

If you are looking for a refreshing, invigorating way to help balance the excesses of the holidays, I highly recommend this soup. And I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I am joining Angie at Fiesta Friday this week, co-hosted by Johanne @ French Gardener Dishes and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons. It has been awhile since I have had a chance to look at what my fellow bloggers have been up to, so I look forward to catching up! lemon spinach soup in bowl 1

Lemon Spinach Soup

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 small carrots (or 2 medium-sized), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 3/4 to 1 pound of fresh spinach
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, bring 7 of the 8 cups of chicken broth to a boil.  Add the carrots and celery, and simmer for about 3-5 minutes, or until just tender.  While the vegetables are simmering, wash the spinach and tear it into bite-sized pieces.  Add the spinach to the soup and simmer gently until just-tender, about 3-5 minutes, trying not to over-cook it.

While the spinach is simmering, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the flour with a whisk and cook for one minute.  Whisk in the reserved cup of chicken broth, and stir until smooth.  Add this to the soup pot when the spinach is ready, and simmer, stirring as the liquid thickens.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks and lemon juice together.  Stir the mixture into the soup pot until well combined.

Heat the soup to the point of almost boiling, then turn it off.  (Don’t boil it, or it will curdle).  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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