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Soup - Comfort Food for the Winter Solstice

There is nothing that takes the chill out of those single digit temperature days and evenings like a nice hot bowl of soup.  Cream based soups bring that perfect level of comfort to any winter meal, but even broth soups with hearty ingredients hit the spot.  These two very different (and so easy!) recipes are a couple of my favorites:

Hearty Italian Sausage and Pasta Soup:  8 servings
  • 1 lb hot or sweet Italian Sausage (use turkey sausage for a lighter version).  Try to find a brand with less fennel seed - I found that too much fennel can overpower the dish
  • 4 C Chicken Broth
  • 2 - 14.5 oz cans Diced Tomatoes, seasoned with basil, garlic, oregano
  • 1 C Uncooked Pasta (shells, elbows, bowties or other small shaped pasta)
  • 4 C Baby Spinach leaves
  • 4 T Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 T Chopped Fresh Basil
Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Remove casings from sausage.  Add sausage to pan, break apart, crumble and cook for 15 minutes until browned.  Drain and return to pot.  Add broth, tomatoes and pasta to pan.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 - 12 minutes or until pasta is al dente.  Remove from heat.  Stir in spinach leaves until wilted.  Sprinkle each serving with cheese and basil.

Italian Sausage Soup

Northern Bean Chicken Chili:  8 servings
  • 3 - 15 oz cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 C Cubed Cooked Chicken (I use ready made rotisserie chicken from the supermarket for another time saver)
  • 4 C Chicken Broth
  • 2 - 4 oz cans Chopped Green Chilies, undrained (use 1 can if you prefer less heat)
  • 1/2 t White Pepper
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 C Sour Cream
  • 4 T Flour
Place 2 cans of drained beans into a heavy pot and mash them slightly.  Add remaining ingredients except for the sour cream and flour.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer soup for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream and flour.  Mix with a wire whisk.  Stir in a ladelful of the hot broth mixture into the bowl and mix until smooth.  Add this mixture to the soup pot and stir for several minutes until soup is thickened.  Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and parsley as desired.  Serve as a starter or with a small salad and rustic bread as a light Winter meal.
Northern Bean Chicken Chili

For a lighter version, check out this recipe on Anabolic Gourmet:

The Anabolic Gourmet: Anabolic White Bean Chili with Grilled Chicken: "Yield:  About 16 Generous Servings Difficulty:  EASY Nutrition InformationCalories:  423Protein 33 g; Carbohydrates 30 g; F..."

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        Regards, Foodie Mama