Warming recipes for cold days.
Cold days call for warm soups, and going the homemade route will warm your home and ensure you have plenty of leftovers for reheating later in the week or freezing. The below recipes are chef-approved and oh-so comforting. Give them a try during these last few weeks of winter as we wait for warmer weather and longer days.
Herbed Tomato Bisque
Herbed Tomato Bisque
Recipe by Ben Goodnick, chef of Coastal Soups
This simple recipe is a big upgrade from the premade soup you get from a can. “We start by softening some aromatics, then add a couple cans of high-quality tomatoes, thin with stock and enrich with cream,” Goodnick said. “Use an immersion blender when it’s done simmering so you only have one pot to wash.”
Recipe for Herbed Tomato Bisque
Yields 6 servings
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 c chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1/2 c heavy cream
1 tsp dark brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
Add the butter. When it is melted and foamy add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft; about 5 minutes.
Add the basil and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant; about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, stock and cream.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cool for 15 minutes, stirring often.
Add the brown sugar and purée the mixture with an immersion blender or in batches in a standing blender.
Add salt and pepper to taste and reheat if needed.
Carrot Ginger Soup
Carrot Ginger Soup
Recipe by Mee McCormick, chef and founder of Pinewood Kitchen & Mercantile
This gut-friendly recipe comes from McCormick’s latest book, My Pinewood Kitchen: A Southern Culinary Cure. “I’m obsessed with this carrot soup,” she said. “Sometimes all I will have in the fridge is a bag of carrots, and that’s when I make this soup happen. Carrots are great for the gut, and they are loaded with vitamin C. Granny Smith, Little Queens and Red Delicious apples are loaded with polyphenols, which boost digestion and brain health. Any one of these varieties is great for this soup. The ginger is a digestive aid, as it promotes circulation. With such a powerful combination of ingredients, this soup is a soother and an immunity booster all in one bowl.”
Recipe for Carrot Ginger Soup
Yields 4-6 servings
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or ghee
1 large white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 1/2 lbs carrots
1 apple, chopped and skin on
4 c chicken bone broth or veggie broth
2 c water
1/4 c raw cashews
3/4 cups full-fat coconut milk
1 Tbsp miso paste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil or ghee.
Add onion and sweat until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the carrots, apple, broth, water and cashews. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the coconut milk and miso paste. Blend until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Tomales Bay Clam Chowder
Tomales Bay Clam Chowder
Recipe by Mark Franz, chef of Nick’s Cove
This soup has been a staple at the Northern California inn, restaurant and oyster bar since 2007 and will be featured in a forthcoming cookbook by the Nick’s Cove team. Chunky potatoes, leeks, bacon, fresh herbs and a generous serving of clams make this chowder filling and flavorful, and using equal parts cream and milk in the base keeps it from being too rich. Franz recommends serving this with warm, crusty hunks of French bread.
Recipe for Tomales Bay Clam Chowder
Yields 6 servings
6 strips thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 10 oz)
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large leek (white and pale green parts), finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch cubes
4 cans (6 oz each) chopped clams, with juices
16 oz clam juice
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole milk
1 c heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish
In a large pot over medium heat, cook half the bacon, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 7 minutes.
Add the onion, leek and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 7 minutes.
Add the potatoes and stir to combine. Add the clams with their juices, additional clam juice, thyme, bay leaf and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through; 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
While the potatoes cook, make the béchamel. In a heavy medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and smells of shortbread. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, until the béchamel is thickened; 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the cream, increase the heat to medium, and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the salt and nutmeg and cook, stirring until slightly thickened; about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, line a large plate with paper towels. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the remaining bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally; about 10 minutes.
Transfer bacon to the paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve for garnish.
When the béchamel is ready, add it to the clam-potato mixture. Stir to combine, then divide the chowder between 6 bowls.
Garnish each bowl with parsley and bacon and serve at once.
Recipe by Nuhma Tuazon, chef and owner of Nuhma NYC
Tuazon’s take on a classic Filipino dish is instant comfort. “This is a very special dish to me; it’s a warm reminder of my mother and grandmother,” she said. “It’s one of those meals that takes you right back to your childhood.”
Tuazon notes that this dish is all about striking that perfect balance between sour and savory, and you can make it more sour or sweet to suit your personal taste. “The flavors are complex, but they work so well together,” she said. “There are a lot of vegetables and a strong lemon flavor. It’s delicious comfort food that’s perfect for those days when you want to feel nurtured and well-fed.”
Recipe for Shrimp Sinigang
Yields 6 servings
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 white onion, sliced
2 large tomatoes, quartered
1 green chili
100 g tamarind pulp, soaked in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes
1 packet Knorr Sinigang mix gabi or shrimp/chicken stock (can be found at any Asian market)
1/2 bunch string beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 taro root (or daikon), peeled and sliced into rounds
2 Japanese eggplants, sliced
5 oz baby spinach
24 pieces fresh prawns
Fish sauce, to taste
1 lemon, juiced
Salt, to taste
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pot and sauté the onion, tomatoes and green chili for 2-3 minutes.
Strain the tamarind pulp into the pot and add the seasoning mix or stock. Bring this to a boil, then turn down to a simmer to cook the vegetables.
Add the vegetables to the pot, starting with the ones that take longer to cook.
Once all the vegetables are in, add the prawns. They should take around 3 minutes to cook.
Finally, add fish sauce and lemon juice and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Short Rib Borsch
Short Rib Borsch
Recipe by Bonnie Morales, chef of Kachka
In her cookbook, Morales addresses the fact that “borsch” is spelled without a “t” at the end. “Somehow the ‘t’ got added on in German (as did a few other unnecessary consonants—borschtsch), so if you want to pass with the Brighton Beach babushkas, lose the ‘t.’”
“As everyone at Kachka can attest, borsch is a dish that people have quite a few strong feelings about,” Morales wrote. “Like every good Russian, I learned to make borsch from my mom—and, with just a few tweaks, this recipe is pretty much hers. So, of course in my opinion, it’s the best version out there.”
Recipe for Short Rib Borsch
Excerpted from Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking by Bonnie Frumkin Morales. Copyright © 2017 by Bonnie Frumkin Morales. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved.
Yields 6 servings as a main course, 10 servings as a soup course
1/4 c high heat oil (I use canola or peanut)
2 1/2-3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced into thin half moons
2 large red beets, scrubbed thoroughly
2 qt beef stock (homemade if possible)
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 carrot, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
1/2 c smetana or European-style sour cream
1 handful thinly sliced scallions
1 handful coarsely chopped fresh dill
Russian mustard, for serving
1 loaf dark Russian or Lithuanian-style bread, for serving
Heat a large stockpot over high heat, and add the oil. While the pot is heating up, season the short ribs with salt on all sides.
When the pot is hot, carefully add the short ribs and brown to a nice dark sear on all sides (a few minutes per side), using tongs to flip. You may need to do this in batches. The sear on the bottom of the pot will give your soup flavor, so make sure it doesn’t burn—turn the heat down if needed. When the ribs are browned, remove them from the pot and set aside on a plate. Discard the excess grease from the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until caramelized (about 30 minutes), adjusting the heat as needed so that it doesn’t burn. When the onion has softened and browned, add the beets and beef stock.
Bring up to a boil, then reduce the heat until it’s just high enough to maintain a simmer. Simmer until the beets are about half cooked—a knife will go in with some resistance—about 1 hour.
When the beets are half cooked, carefully remove them from the pot with a ladle and set them aside in a bowl to cool—this may seem fussy, but it allows you to get the beet flavor in the pot early on without overcooking the beets themselves.
Add the browned short ribs back to the pot, and cook at the gentlest simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 hours, or until short ribs are totally falling apart fork-tender (and going longer won’t hurt). Taste about halfway through cooking and add salt as needed.
When the reserved beets are cool enough to handle, peel away the skin using a paring knife (if it doesn’t just rub off on its own), and coarsely grate them on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor.
When the short ribs have fully cooked, taste the soup, and add more salt as needed. Use a large slotted spoon to remove the short ribs.
Add the potatoes, and continue to simmer until they are just cooked through, another 10 minutes or so.
While the potatoes cook, pull the short rib meat off the bones, removing any bits of connective tissue. Discard the bones and connective tissue, and chop the meat into bite-sized chunks. When the potatoes are cooked, stir the meat back into the pot, along with the grated beets and carrots. Turn off the heat, and let cool. The pot will take a few hours to cool enough to go in the refrigerator, and the vegetables will cook in the residual heat. Refrigerate overnight.*
The next day, discard the hardened fat from off the top. Reheat before serving.
To serve, ladle the borsch into bowls and garnish with a dollop of smetana and sprinkling of scallions and dill. Serve with slices of dark bread and spicy mustard. If you want the full Russian approach, try stirring some of the spicy mustard directly into your soup—to me, it’s not borsch without this finishing touch.
*If you want to serve the soup the same day it’s made, simply keep it simmering after adding in the beets and carrots. The borsch will be ready as soon as the beets are cooked through. Be careful not to let the soup cook any longer, or else you will drain the beets of all of their color and flavor.
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