COMPILED BY KAREN GUNNELS
These comforting soup recipes are perfect for cold winter days. Better yet, some of these recipes come together in a slow cooker or Instant Pot, making them easy to put together.
Cheese Lasagna Soup (from Southern Living)
The Southern Living Test Kitchen calls this dish “a hearty and comforting bowl of soup with tender beef and velvety noodles.” drain the beef on kitchen paper, this will remove some of the oil and prevent a layer of fat from forming on the surface of the soup. For this soup, also leave out the uncooked noodles—they will overcook and become mushy. Regular lasagna noodles with scalloped edges add texture to the dish. Stop cooking the soup when the pasta is almost al dente; It will continue to cook and absorb liquid once removed from the heat. A new twist on a family favorite.
Active: 25 minutes Total: 25 minutes Servings: 4
8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
2 ounces parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1¼ cups)
1/8th teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 tbsp)
2 (15-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
8 ounces uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into 1½- to 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 ounces low moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
¼ cup small basil leaves
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add ground chuck. Cook, stirring and breaking into chunks, until browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, place the beef in a small bowl lined with paper towels; put aside.
3. Do not wipe the Dutch Oven clean. Put the onion in the Dutch Oven. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Add garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in diced tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil on high. Stir in the sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add lasagne pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is just cooked through and almost al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in the browned beef. Remove from the stove and stir in the vinegar. Divide soup evenly among 4 bowls; Top with mozzarella and dollops of the reserved ricotta mixture. Garnish bowls with basil leaves before serving (optional).
Slow Cooker French Onion Soup (from Southern Living)
Thanks to a slow cooker, this soup is filled with flavor without any work. This Southern Living Test Kitchen method of making caramelized onions cuts prep time: Use a slow cooker to make sweet, tender onions that require (almost) no stirring. Start the onions in the morning and enjoy the rich scent of caramelizing onions throughout the day.
Active: 15 minutes Total: 6 hours 50 minutes Yield: Served 6
2 pounds Vidalia onions, thinly sliced (about 8 cups sliced)
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for garnish
6 sprigs of thyme tied with kitchen twine
5 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
12 (½ inch thick) baguette slices
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 ½ cups)
1. In a 6 quart slow cooker, stir together onions, melted butter, sugar, salt and pepper until onions are completely coated. Place the thyme and bay leaf on the onion mixture. Cover and cook on HIGH, stirring once halfway through, until onions are deep golden and caramelized, 6 to 7 hours.
2. Remove and discard thyme and bay leaf. Stir in the broth and vinegar. Cover and cook on HIGH until thoroughly heated, about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven for grilling, with the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat. Pour the soup into 6 ovenproof ramekins; Place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Cover each casserole dish with 2 baguette slices; Divide cheese evenly among the ramekins (about ¼ cup each). Grill until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and black pepper. Serve immediately.
Slow Cooker Creamy Potato, Ham and Cheese Soup (by Cindy DeVore for Just a Pinch Recipes)
Make sure the ham is thickly sliced so it can be diced into small cubes for the soup. Crumbled bacon in the last 30 minutes of cooking gives this soup a light, smoky flavor.
Cooking time: 4 hours Preparation time: 45 minutes serves: 6
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup honey baked or thick-sliced deli ham, cut into small cubes
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
12 slices of French baguette, reheated
1. Set your slow cooker to the highest setting to get it hot while chopping the ingredients.
2. Place the first 7 ingredients in the slow cooker and stir from the bottom to incorporate the garlic salt and pepper into all the ingredients.
3. Reduce slow cooker to low heat. Cover and cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring every hour. Slow cooker times may vary. The goal is to cook the potatoes until they are just tender.
4. When the potatoes are cooked, add the crumbled bacon, heavy cream, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, and cream cheese. Reserve the remaining shredded cheddar for soup topping.
5. Keep stirring and break up the cream cheese until smooth. Cover and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Wrap the sliced baguette in foil and heat to 275 degrees until the soup is ready to serve.
7. When the soup is smooth and creamy, transfer to bowls and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with warmed baguette slices and enjoy.
Chicken Tortilla Soup (from Family Features)
Small changes in cooking that can have a big impact on heart health. This soup can help you eat healthily without sacrificing flavor.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, visible fat discarded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups frozen whole corn, thawed
2 cups fat-free chicken broth with no added salt
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) unsalted, diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
2 corn tortillas (6 inches each), cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
1 corn tortilla (6 inches), torn into pieces
2-4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
1/4 cup finely chopped avocado
1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-sized strips
1. In slow cooker, combine chicken, corn, broth, tomatoes, onion, sugar, ancho powder, garlic and salt. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
3. Arrange tortilla strips in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Transfer the baking sheet to the cooling rack. Leave strips for 15 minutes or until cool. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside.
4. When the soup is ready, place 1 cup in a food processor or blender. Stir in tortilla pieces. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute. Process until smooth. Stir mixture into soup. Stir in the coriander.
5. Scoop soup into bowls. Sprinkle with avocado, peppers and reserved tortilla strips.
This recipe is reprinted with permission from Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook, 2nd Edition. Copyright 2018 by the American Heart Association. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Hearty Tuscan Soup (from Metro News Service)
Italian spices and ingredients feature in this Hearty Tuscan Soup recipe from The Pampered Chef™ Test Kitchens’ Season’s Best: Fast, Fun & Fabulous.
2 15-ounce cans of reduced-sodium pinto beans
8 ounce Italian turkey sausage (about 2 links), casing removed
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
4 cups unsalted chicken broth or chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon Pampered Chef™ Rosemary Herb Spice Blend
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
1 packet of fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
3 tablespoons grated Italian cheese mix
1. Drain pinto beans in a small colander and rinse. Transfer half of the beans to a food processor; process until almost smooth. Set aside both whole and mashed beans.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, 3 to 5 minutes or until shimmering. Cook sausage for 4 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink and crumbles.
3. Dice the onion, then chop. Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks, then roughly chop. Add the onion, sweet potato, and garlic to the casserole; cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes or until onion is soft.
4. Stir all the beans, chicken broth, tomatoes, spice mix and pepper into the Dutch Oven. Cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Preheat grill. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat; Add spinach. Cover; Let stand 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach has wilted. top soup with melba rounds; sprinkle with cheese.
6. Place the Dutch Oven 2 to 4 inches away from the heating element. Grill 2 to 4 minutes or until croutons and cheese are lightly browned. Pour soup and croutons into bowls.