This past week, we've seen some ridiculously cold temperatures, into the negative teens after factoring in wind chill. Brr... But, hey, it is January, after all.
One of my favorite things to make is soup. It's always a great way to use up vegetables that I have leftover and expedite the dinner-making process. The past couple of weekends, I have made soup on Sunday in our Crock-Pot for Dave and I to have as lunch and dinner during the week.
Here is a quick round-up of seven great recipes to try if you need inspiration for what to make this week. I've included a few of my own and a few that just sounded delicious from others. Let me know in a comment what you think and if you have tried any of them!
"Ah. Where has the time gone?" I feel like I say that to myself every year as I log in to WordPress, blow off the dust, and proceed writing as if I'm catching up with an old friend.
2020, 2021, and 2022 felt like they were one, crazy, never-ending superyear where there were beautiful, happy, exciting moments and some tragic, frustrating low points all jumbled together. The "new normal" got redefined countless times. Whatever that means now as we've headed into the first couple of weeks of 2023 is to be determined, but if 2020 in a single word was "chaos" then 2021 was a "rollercoaster." 2022 was a state of "transition" and the year that Dave and I officially became homeowners. Now, it's our hope that 2023 will be, simply, "calm."
I could spend so much time talking about the emotions, both happy and sad, of the last several years, and maybe in due time, I will. In this specific moment, though, I'm processing the fact that I've had a personal blog/website of some format for 22 years...
Looking at it another way: my very first domain that people knew about, burned-bridges.com, was registered in 2001 after making the leap from creating single-page Expages and later multi-page Geocities websites, with frames, GIF animations, Midi background music and all! B-B.net, if it was still "alive" in its previous format and a human being residing in the U.S., could drink by now. Yikes.
Call me nostalgic, but it seemed fitting to revisit a recipe that I published on my other "OG" blog, fuchsia-revolver.org (still "alive" but inactive and about to be permanently redirected here), in 2009: Chickpea stew. This recipe was one of the first that inspired me to come over here to a new domain and start my foodie adventures properly in 2016.
Soup is one of the most perfect foods. A complete one-pot meal, it warms you up when you're cold and it makes you feel better when you're sick. Keep warm and stay healthy with these fresh soup recipes to try in January, which is National Soup Month.
First of all, Happy New Year! Dave and I spent the long weekend in New York City. And the first thing you're probably thinking in response to that might be, You're insane. What about the crowds?
Well, we weren't feeling brave enough to head into Times Square and battle the crowd of nearly one million people who came out to see the ball drop. And we definitely weren't interested in standing out in the bitter cold for hours, either.
We had a great weekend, though, filled with wonderful food and drinks to celebrate not just New Year's Eve, but our 1 year anniversary and my (early) birthday. Surprisingly, it wasn't too hard to get in or out of the city. For a holiday weekend, travel on all accounts went surprisingly smooth.
Sadly, I find myself now feeling ill with what I think might be a cold that was developing all last week in spite of all of my wishing that it wasn't. The rest of this week isn't getting any warmer, either. For my birthday on Saturday, it's going to be a blustery zero degrees and probably colder than that with the windchill, well into the negative single (and maybe double?) digits. Joy.
Days like these call for something hot and comforting to take off the chill. Cannellini beans (white beans), frozen spinach, and a mirepoix of fresh vegetables (onions, carrots, and celery) are always well-stocked in my pantry to make soups and other meals that are always favorites to eat and quickly assembled.
This recipe uses leftover red wine for added depth of flavor. If you don't have any or would prefer not to use it, it's fine to just add extra vegetable or chicken broth. Likewise, a Parmesan cheese rind is nice to add in here, but don't sweat it if you don't have one to spare.
P.S. I'm transitioning all of the recipes over to a new plug-in tool as of today, so this one and others may look different as I'm getting them moved over. Let me know what you think of the new look and functionality.
Since I started eating meat again last year, I almost always keep a package of organic chicken thighs or breasts in my freezer for fresh, quick-to-assemble meals like curried chicken salad, chicken bacon ranch pasta—and this simple chicken soup.
Chicken or vegetable broth concentrate, like Better Than Bouillon brand, is a staple that I like to keep in the fridge for soups, sauces, and any other recipes that require stock. This way, I can use as much or as little as I need, without opening a full box of stock. The broth concentrate paste just gets scooped out of the jar and added to whatever I'm cooking along with water or other liquid. And as a bonus, it dissolves quicker when compared to bouillon cubes. Low sodium and organic varieties are available, too, which I usually try to buy but sometimes they are hard to find in stores.
Other alternatives to the broth concentrate are a good quality organic vegetable or chicken stock (Wegmans house brand is fairly low sodium) or, of course, homemade stock.
I don't know about you, but as soon as the temperature starts to turn a little colder and I can see the first few leaves start to turn color on the trees—I don't care if it's a hot second after Labor Day, or if the pumpkins aren't ready and the fall solstice hasn't arrived yet (it's September 22nd this year, FYI)—it's my shameless cue to start getting into "fall mode."
Out come the cozy, oversized hoodies and sweaters to wear with jeans; the Halloween decorations start to unearth themselves from boxes in the basement, ready to be hung sometime towards the end of September; and soup or stew gets put back on my dinner menu at least once a week. As a matter of fact, today is perfect fall weather where I am, too; it's currently around 62° F and it may even drop below 50° F tonight. Talk about the perfect weather for baking and soup making.
This Middle Eastern-inspired stew has been one of my favorite vegetarian recipes for a while, probably ever since I started a vegetarian (or pescatarian, mostly) diet in high school. I continued being vegetarian/pescatarian up until about two years ago, when I started incorporating chicken and other lean meats back into my diet. Regardless of your food preferences, though, this is a recipe that I have found both meat eaters and veggies enjoy all the same.
Soup is like one of the most perfect foods. A complete one-pot meal, it warms you up when you’re cold and it makes you feel better when you’re sick. As chance would have it, January, in addition to being my birth month and one of the coldest months of the winter here in Pennsylvania, is National Soup Month! Check out these recipes, including a few that are on my list of things to try. You can also follow #NationalSoupMonth on Twitter or check out my board of curated recipes on Pinterest for more ideas and inspiration. Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup — it all…