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Hale and Hearty Soup Recipes for Cold Winter Nights
Soup May Very Possibly be the Ultimate Comfort Food
Hale and hearty soups are robust, substantial, warming, filling and satisfying. They are not blended soups which are drunk rather than eaten; hale and hearty soups should be chunky, require chewing and be felt almost to stick to your ribs as they work their way down to your stomach. It is soups like these that will warm not only your body but your heart and your soul when you have struggled to get home through the traffic on a cold winter's night and want nothing more than to relax by the warmth of the fire.
It is important, of course, to strike a balance and make sure that a thick and hearty soup does not simply become a stew. This page is dedicated to helping you find the perfect soup recipe to help you relax after a hard and challenging day at work in the darkest depths of winter. It currently has four very different winter warmer soup ideas and will proceed with plenty more as the nights grow darker, the weather grows colder - and Jack Frost once again lays his cloak across the land, to inexorably tighten his icy grip on winter days and nights...
What Do You Want for Dinner on a Cold Winter's Night?
Please note that the recipes on this page are all designed to provide four modest servings, or two substantial servings.
As soups are not always the quickest of dishes to prepare and cook, what you may wish to do is look at preparing these soups the night before you wish to eat them, cooling them and refrigerating them, so that when you get in from work shivering and hungry, you simply have to heat the soup up in a pot. In many instances, leaving the soup overnight in this fashion also allows time for the flavours to infuse, further enhancing your enjoyment of the soup. This means you win both ways!
Chicken, Leek and Potato Soup Recipe
It is vital to a quality soup that you do use fresh stock and definitely not stock cubes. The difference in flavour is like that between night and day - or summer and winter! If you are in the habit of using a lot of stock, you could make it in large quantities and freeze it for up to three months in batches. If you do not have any stock stored in this way, this is a quick and easy way of making a very basic chicken stock.
½ lb chicken breast quarter
2 pints of cold water
1 medium carrot
½ white onion
6 whole black peppercorns
½ tsp salt
Place the chicken portion in a large soup pot. Wash the carrot but don't peel it. Roughly chop the carrot and onion and add them to the pot with the salt, peppercorns and finally the water. Put the pot on to a high heat until the water boils before reducing the heat to achieve a simmer for twenty-five minutes.
Turn off the heat before lifting the chicken piece from the water with a large slotted spoon. Put it on a plate to cool and cover. Remove as much of the carrot and onion as you can with the slotted spoon and discard. Allow the stock to cool slightly before straining it to remove the peppercorns, as well as perhaps any remaining onion and carrot. Putting some kitchen paper in the sieve through which you are straining the stock removes the very finest impurities and much of any greasy fat in your stock. That is optional and you can simply use a fine sieve if you prefer.
You can now proceed to make your soup immediately or allow the stock to cool completely and refrigerate it for use the following evening. This is a good idea when available dinner preparation times are generally short.
The chicken stock and the meat from the chicken breast portion will both be used in the soup. If you already have the stock in your freezer, you will obviously have to buy the chicken and cook it separately, or buy it ready cooked.
2 pints of fresh chicken stock
2 medium floury potatoes
1 medium leek (stem only)
4oz torn chicken pieces
Salt and white pepper
Peel the potatoes and chop them in to approximately three-quarter inch cubes. Wash the leek and slice it to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch. Put the vegetables in to your clean soup pot and pour in the stock. Bring to a boil on a high heat and reduce the heat to simmer for twenty minutes.
It is better to pick the chicken flesh from the bones by hand, in to approximately bite sized pieces. This not only makes the job easier than trying to remove it with a knife, it provides for a more authentic, rustic effect to your finished soup. When the vegetables and stock have been simmering for twenty minutes, carefully add the chicken just to heat through for a further ten minutes of simmering.
Taste your soup and adjust seasoning as required before ladling it in to bowls. Freshly torn basil leaves have been used as a final garnish in this instance but parsley would also be an excellent choice. Be sure to serve your soup immediately, while it is still piping hot.
Top Quality Soup Pots - The Right Tools for the Job
A soup pot is not something which you will be looking to buy every year. A quality soup pot should last for decades rather than years so it is false economy to simply buy the cheapest type on the market. When you are buying a pot to make your hale and hearty soups, be sure that you do go for quality and you will be sure to save money in the long term.
Spicy Chorizo, Tomato and Green Bean Soup Recipe
½ lb chorizo
2oz trimmed green beans
14oz can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
2 pints fresh chicken stock
1 hot red chilli pepper
½ tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour the chicken stock and tomatoes in to a large soup pot and place on a high heat. Very finely chop the chilli pepper (do not remove seeds) and add it to the liquid. Wash your hands thoroughly before going any further to get rid of any remnants of the chilli. Stir the mix well and bring to a moderate simmer for twenty minutes.
It is a good idea to slice the chorizo sausage at a forty-five degree angle. This makes for larger, meatier slices. The trimmed green beans should be chopped in to pieces approximately one inch in length. Add both the chorizo and the beans to the tomato stock and simmer for a further ten minutes.
Do be wary of seasoning this soup before it is ready. The chorizo will contain a lot of seasoning, as may your chicken stock. Delay all seasoning therefore until you taste it immediately prior to service. Season if required with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
A little freshly torn basil may be scattered over the top of each serving if desired.
Quick, Tasty and Satisfying Vegetable Soup Recipe
This vegetable soup could very effectively be made with chicken stock but if it is being prepared for vegetarians, you will of course have to make or buy fresh vegetable stock.
2 pints vegetable or chicken stock
2 large potatoes
2 large carrots
Handful of fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Scrape the carrots, coarsely grate one of them and slice the other in to quarter inch thick discs. Cut the leaves and root off the leek, wash it well and slice in to quarter inch discs. Peel the potatoes and chop them in to cubes of around three-quarters of an inch.
Add the vegetables to your soup pot and carefully pour in the vegetable or chicken stock. Put the pot on to a high heat just until the stock just starts to boil and then reduce the heat to achieve a simmer. Continue to simmer for twenty minutes.
The parsley used in this recipe is curly leafed parsley, simply as a personal preference for imparting greater flavour to soups. Flat leafed parsley is equally acceptable and may be the only type available to you. Wash the parsley well through a colander, squeeze it dry and roughly chop it.
When the soup has simmered for twenty minutes, check that the potatoes are soft with the point of a sharp knife, fork or skewer. If so, add the chopped parsley, simmer for a further five minutes and check for seasoning adjustment.
Ladle your soup in to serving bowls, garnish if you wish with a little bit more chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Wholesome Beef and Root Vegetable Soup Recipe
2 pints fresh beef stock
1 small turnip
2 medium floury potatoes
2 medium carrots
4oz cooked and cooled beef
Salt and black pepper
Begin by preparing your vegetables. The potatoes and the turnip should firstly be peeled and then chopped to approximately one inch cubes. The two carrots should be scraped, before one is grated and the other sliced across the way in to discs approximately a quarter of an inch thick.
Add the vegetables to your stock or soup pot and pour in the fresh beef stock. Bring the liquid to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering for twenty minutes. After this time, roughly chop your beef and add it to the soup to heat through during a further ten minutes of simmering. Note that the beef used in this instance is that taken from the bones used to make the stock. Be sure to cut away as much fat and gristle as you can before adding the chopped beef to the soup.
Taste your soup for seasoning, adjust as required with salt and freshly ground black pepper and ladle in to bowls for service.
Which type of soup do you prefer?
Thank you for your visit to this page and I hope that you have found something which will warm you up on a cold winter night. Do remember that more recipes will be added on an ongoing basis so please call again. Any feedback which you may have for now can be left immediately below.