My Top 6 Favorite Soups

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November is off to a dreary start.  Sigh.  I don’t mind the rain one bit usually, but a full week of it in the forecast makes a few stir-crazy children!  With the rain + the cold of November, we are in “soup season” here.  A few of my friends have asked for my go-to soup recipes.  These are my favorite favorites.  The cream of the crop, folks.  These are tried and tested and absolute regular staples in our house for years.  These are husband-approved by a guy who isn’t as crazy about soup as his wife.

1.  Beef Stew

The simplest yet tastiest beef stew you’ll ever find.  I love that its easy to put together, doesn’t require a bottle of wine (and yet the balsamic vinegar adds so much flavor!), can be made in a slow-cooker or in a couple of hours in a dutch oven if you forget to start it in the morning.  Also, to make it gluten-free, I sub coconut flour for regular flour.

2.  Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash + Quinoa

I always sub a can of black beans (washed + rinsed) for the olives, because my husband doesn’t like olives.  I also sub cilantro for parsley and sometimes add a dash of cumin + chili powder to go along with the black bean/cilantro/mexican taste.  Also, I never use quinoa because it doesn’t agree with me (insert breaking heart emoticon), and lately just leave out all grain, but you can sub wild rice (delicious!) or a small pasta like orzo.  It tastes just great without it though!

3.  Chicken + Vegetable Soup

This one is one my husband’s favorites, comes together really quickly + with minimal ingredients, and is a great way to use up leftover chicken.  Is great with grilled cheese on the side!

4.  Pea Soup

This is my mom’s recipe.  Super simple.

1 yellow onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2-4 large carrots, chopped
1-2 large russet potatoes, peeled + chopped
1 lb dried split peas, washed + rinsed
6-8 cups chicken broth (or water/broth combo)
optional: chopped ham (about 1-2 cups)
salt + pepper to taste

Sautee onion in olive oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven or soup pot until soft/translucent, about 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for another minute.  Add rest of ingredients (except for ham), bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let simmer for a couple of hours, stirring every so often.  Basically, it will become a thick, creamy soup as the split peas soften and disintegrate.  Once it’s at this stage, it’s done.  You can add the ham any time, really, but I usually add towards the end of the cook time and let the flavors marry for 20 minutes or so.

5.  Spinah + Lentil Soup with Cheese + Basil

This one is to die for.  Do I keep saying that?  This one is so good.  You have to try it.  It does require a few more pricey ingredients, but to compensate for that I always sub bacon for pancetta (you can’t loose with bacon).

6.  Black Bean Soup

My recipe, which I’ve posted before here.

My favorite bread to accompany soups used to be Sullivan Street Bakery’s No Knead Recipe, but since going gluten-free I have found this recipe for Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread to be a super quick dinner roll that I can throw together (in about 30 minutes) if I’m needing something on the fly that everyone loves + it’s gluten-free + grain-free with only a handful of ingredients!  My only recommendation is to cook it a tad bit longer than she says (more like 25 minutes).

So there you go.  These are the essentials of my soup pantry.  What are yours??  Please do share your favorites + your staples!

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