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FOOD: 5 stellar soups to warm your soul

5 stellar soups to warm your soul Super Bowl Sunday’s also National Homemade Soup Day

By Emily Ryan, For Digital First Media

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Got plans for game day? Call an audible and host your own “Soup-er” Bowl.

“There’s nothing better than having that warm, yummy smell of something cooking when it’s cold and snowy,” said food consultant Linda Funk.

Score a culinary touchdown with curried corn and pepper chowder or mascarpone mushroom soup.

“What’s so beautiful about that – no surprise to anybody – is the mascarpone adds that creaminess to it and just makes it delicious,” she described.

Another winner: Cuban black soybean soup.

“It’s one of my favorite soups. I just love making it, and it’s easy,” Funk said. “Soybeans are packed with heart-healthy protein.”

For Super Bowl LII, “bird is the word,” so serve superfans some chicken tortilla soup.

“It’s quick for people to do at home,” explained executive chef Brenda Kieffer of Kieffer’s Appliances in Lansdale, who cooks “a lot of soups, especially when it’s cold out.”

Finally, don’t pass on her beef barley soup. It’s worth the extra point.

“Everybody loved it,” she said. “It’s really a meal in a bowl. That’s what I like about it and soup in general.”

Chef Brenda’s Beef Barley Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound beef stew meat

1 pound meaty beef bones (such as beef shank bones)

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

¼ cup pearl barley

4 cups water

2 (14 ½-ounce) cans beef broth

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice

1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn kernels

2 small bay leaves

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 ½ cups frozen peas

2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add stew meat and bones; sauté until beef is dark brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer beef and bones to plate. Add celery, onion and barley to pot. Sauté until onion is golden, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups water, beef broth, tomatoes with juices, corn, bay leaves and garlic powder. Return beef and bones to pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until beef is almost tender, about 1 hour. Add peas and 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce to soup. Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 30 minutes longer. Season the soup to taste with salt, pepper and more hot pepper sauce, if desired.

RECIPE COURTESY OF EXECUTIVE CHEF BRENDA KIEFFER

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup chopped onions

1 clove chopped garlic

4 cups low-salt chicken broth

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

4 plum tomatoes, peeled seeded and diced OR ½ can of low-salt diced tomatoes

1 cup corn kernels (frozen is fine)

½ cup cooked black beans, rinsed if canned

1 jalapeño chili, seeded and diced fine

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

Garnish: tortilla strips (flour tortilla), diced avocado, chopped cilantro, Monterey Jack cheese (if desired)

Instructions

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the broth, black beans, tomatoes, corn, chili pepper, cumin and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered about 10 minutes. Add chicken and heat until chicken is warm. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Garnish bowls with avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips and cheese if desired.

Crispy Tortilla Strips: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 2 flour tortillas into thin strips. Place on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp (about 10 minutes).

RECIPE COURTESY OF EXECUTIVE CHEF BRENDA KIEFFER

Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Creamy Mascarpone Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

1 bunch of green onions, chopped (use some of the green part)

5 tablespoons butter

2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms, sliced (such as shiitake, portabella, crimini, white button)

5 cups chicken broth

¾ cup port

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

1½ cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

8 ounces Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Mascarpone

Instructions

Sauté onions in butter in a 5-quart saucepot. Cook about 5 minutes until onions are soft, stirring frequently. Stir in wild mushrooms and cook about 8 minutes more until mushrooms are tender. Add broth, port and thyme. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. In batches, ladle broth mixture into blender and blend until pureed. Pour puree into large bowl. Repeat with remaining mixture, leaving 1 to 2 cups unpureed (whole mushroom slices are intact for garnish and appearance at serving). Return puree to saucepot. Add cream, lemon juice, black pepper and mascarpone. Heat soup over low heat just until heated through. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with crusty bread or breadsticks. Serves 8.

RECIPE COURTESY OF CRAVE BROTHERS FARMSTEAD CHEESE

Curried Corn and Pepper Chowder

Soymilk boosts the protein in this hearty chowder, making it enough for a small meal. Or serve it as a tasty side dish for grilled steak.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons soybean oil

½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper

½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

¼ cup minced shallots

2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups fresh corn or 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen corn, thawed (about 3 cups)

1 cup vegetable stock

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

3 cups plain, unflavored soymilk

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the shallots during the last minute; stir until tender but not browned. Add the curry powder and salt; stir for 1 minute. Stir in the corn, vegetable stock and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer 2 cups of the corn mixture to a blender or food processor. Add 1 cup of the soy milk. Process until the mixture is nearly smooth. Pour the puréed mixture into the saucepan; stir in the remaining soy milk. Stir gently over medium heat until the mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese. Serves 4.

RECIPE COURTESY OF THE SOYFOODS COUNCIL

Cuban Black Soybean Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons soybean oil

1 cup diced onion

¼ cup diced green pepper

¼ cup diced celery

1 cup diced smoked ham

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 (15-ounce) cans black soybeans, not drained

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

2 pinches dried oregano

3 cups low-sodium beef broth

1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

In large saucepan over medium high heat, heat oil. Add ham, onion, green pepper and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are almost tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add all remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling, then reduce to a simmer and cook 45 minutes. (If soup gets too thick, add more water or broth as needed.) Makes 6 servings.

RECIPE COURTESY OF THE SOYFOODS COUNCIL