Simply Souperb: 3 ‘Real Food’ Recipes for January


Steam rising from a hot, hearty bowl of soup. These sights, smells and flavors are what make January a perfect choice to be National Soup Month. Big batches of rib-sticking goodness make wonderful meals to finish up those long, cold winter days.

Making soup is not hard, nor does it take expensive ingredients. You can easily change the soup’s ingredients to fit your family’s likes. And, the leftovers are often even better in the days after the batch is made! Here are some basic recipes to get you started.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
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  1. 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick pieces
  2. 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  3. 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick pieces
  4. 1/2 of a medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
  5. 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  6. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  7. 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  8. 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  9. 3 cups fat-free milk
  10. 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  11. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a 13x9x2-inch baking dish, combine carrot, sweet potato, parsnip, red onion, and garlic. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with half of the thyme and all of the pepper. Toss to coat. Cover with foil.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil; stir vegetables. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting: in a large saucepan, whisk together milk, chicken broth, flour, and the remaining thyme until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
  5. Very carefully move a cup of the hot broth mixture and half of the roasted vegetables into a blender (you can use an immersion blender).
  6. Return blended vegetables mixture back into the saucepan; add roasted vegetables. Cook and stir about 1 minute more or until soup is heated through.
Lehman's Country Life
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
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  1. 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes
  2. 1/2 pound sliced bacon
  3. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  6. 4 cups 2% milk
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  10. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  11. 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  12. 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  13. 6 teaspoons sour cream
  1. If using raw potatoes, pre-heat oven to 400°F, pierce potatoes and bake for 50 minutes or until tender. (If using already baked potatoes, simple skip this step.)
  2. Allow to cool slightly. Scoop potato flesh into a bowl; set a side.
  3. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon and crumble; set aside.
  4. Add butter to the bacon fat and heat over medium heat.
  5. In a medium bowl combine salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne; add onions and toss well.
  6. Add onion mixture to skillet. Sauté approximately 5 minutes or until onions turn slightly brown.
  7. Fold in potatoes and bring mixture to a gentle simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 cups of the cheese, half the reserved bacon and half the scallions.
  8. Heat the broiler.
  9. Divide soup equally among 6 flame-proof onion soup crocks. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over tops of crocks. Broil 4 inches from heat source for until cheese melts. (Watch carefully; cheese will burn easily.)
  10. Very carefully remove *very hot* soup from broiler.
  11. Serve with sour cream, remaining bacon and scallions for garnish.
  1. This recipe can be made with potatoes that are baked ahead of time.
Lehman's Country Life
Basic Minestrone
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  1. 6 cups chicken and/or beef stock (3 cups each)
  2. 1 cup diced bacon
  3. 2 cups diced carrots
  4. 2 cups diced onion
  5. 2 cups squash (good choices are: acorn, butternut, and zucchini), peeled, seeded and chopped into roughly ½ inch pieces
  6. 1 clove grated or crushed garlic
  7. 15oz can crushed tomatoes – undrained
  8. 16oz can of Cannellini beans, drained
  9. 16oz can of Kidney beans, drained
  10. ½ cup chopped parsley
  11. salt and pepper
  12. 1 pound small elbow macaroni, uncooked
  13. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  14. Parmigiano cheese for serving
  1. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water. When it is cooked tender; yet not soft, drain, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.
  2. Sauté bacon in the pan until tender. Remove bacon and set aside.
  3. Drizzle olive oil into bacon drippings. Heat the pan on medium heat; add onions, garlic, and carrots.
  4. Sauté until vegetables are fork tender (be careful to not overcook).
  5. Stir in tomatoes, broth, and macaroni and simmer until heated through.
  1. This soup freezes well, but if you are going to freeze it, do not add the macaroni until re-heating for eating.
Lehman's Country Life
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About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.