Winter Soups You’ll Want to Mainline

I do try to eat healthy. But then winter comes, and I don’t want anything to do with cucumbers, kale, broccoli, or salad. All I want to eat is meat and root vegetables. Preferably while under an afghan while watching Love Actually.

That intro should give you a heads up as to the nutritional profile of these winter soups. Are they health food? No. Will they delight your caveman palate? Yes. So when you’re done, get off your starch-laden butt and go run a few miles, do some burpees, or whatever your preferred form of calorie neutralization is, because you’re gonna need it.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 4.30.44 PMG-Ma’s Potato Soup

This recipe is just ridiculous. Not only does it have two sticks of butter and a cup and a half of heavy cream, it’s got corn and ham as well. Let it cool and then warm gently to serve, because it gets delightfully gelatinous.

8 potatoes

4 14-oz cans of chicken broth

1 small onion, grated

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

¾ cup flour

2 sticks butter

2 cups cold water

1.5 cups heavy cream

1 ham steak, cubed

1 can corn

Skin potatoes if desired, and cube. Boil potatoes until soft. In another pot, melt the butter on medium heat and grate the onion into as it melts. Once melted, stir in the flour, careful to keep stirring so it doesn’t stick. Then slowly add the chicken broth, water, salt, pepper, basil and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring often with a wire whisk.

Gradually add the heavy cream until proper consistency. Add the potatoes, cubed ham and corn, and simmer for approximately 5 minutes to bring the potatoes to temperature. Let cool slightly before serving, as soup will thicken.

Homemade Chili

Don’t buy chili. Ever. Just don’t. It’s too easy to make and too delicious to buy the canned nonsense. To give credit where credit is due, this recipe is a riff on Betty Crocker’s, but I have modified in ways that are noteworthy. I also love a delicious cornbread anytime I make chili.

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 lb ground turkey

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon red pepper sauce

2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cans (15 to 16 oz) red kidney beans, undrained

1 small can tomato sauce

1 cup of water

Peel and chop the onion to measure 1 cup. Peel and finely chop the garlic. In a 3-quart saucepan, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until turkey is thoroughly cooked. Into the turkey, stir the chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper sauce and tomatoes with their liquid. Add the cup of water. Heat the mixture to boiling over high heat. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat just enough so mixture bubbles gently. Cover with lid; cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the beans with their liquid. Heat to boiling over high heat. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat just enough so mixture bubbles gently. Cook uncovered about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness. Top with grated cheese and serve.

Cheddar Cheese SoupScreen Shot 2015-11-30 at 4.29.33 PM

This is a soup my mom made for years, getting the original recipe from Southern Living and then adding her own tweaks. The first time I made this, my husband stirred it and said, “Where’s the meat?” That was his introduction to eating vegetarian. But don’t let the veg fool you. They are floating around in a comforting roux of butter, milk and cheddar cheese that will be more than enough to warm you up on any cold winter day.

1/4 cup butter

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 can corn (optional)

2 diced potatoes, skinned if desired

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cubes beef bullion

2 cups water

2 cups milk

1 (8-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Add water to a stock pot and drop in bullion. Add onions, mixed veggies and potatoes and boil until the potatoes are soft. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add flour, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk while stirring over medium heat. Add cheese gradually, stirring to melt. Once the entire mixture is melted, stir into the veggie soup mix. If desired, add final can of corn. Allow to cool slightly and serve.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 4.32.03 PMFiesta Chicken Chowder

This delicious chowder is a great way to enjoy Mexican food winter style. Kick it up with jalapenos or add more green chilis to taste. This is an oldie but a goodie straight out of the December 2002 issue of Southern Living.

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles

3 cups water

1 cup uncooked instant brown rice

1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe olives (optional)

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed nacho cheese soup

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon lime juice

Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro

Combine flour and 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. Seal and shake to coat.

Cook chicken in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat, stirring often, 4 minutes or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-high; add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in remaining fajita seasoning, corn, next 5 ingredients, and, if desired, olives. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove lid, and stir in nacho cheese soup, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Garnish, if desired, and serve with breadsticks, if desired.

Erin Burt is a carbs-and-meat loving freelance writer who likes spend her winters holed up inside with a soup IV until spring. She lives and writes in OKC.

Erin Hayes Burt

Erin Hayes Burt

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mom of three girls. She enjoys yoga and reading non chick-lit fiction when she's not translating the ramblings of toddlers or training for her next half marathon.
Erin Hayes Burt

Latest posts by Erin Hayes Burt (see all)

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mom of three girls. She enjoys yoga and reading non chick-lit fiction when she's not translating the ramblings of toddlers or training for her next half marathon.

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