One of my favorite things about living in New England is snow days! Mother Nature visits our part of the earth all winter long with the gift of beautiful fresh snow which means for most of us an impromptu snow day. Ah, safe in my warm home looking out on the majestic brilliant white snow falling in my back yard starts me thinking that it’s time to restock my freezer with home made soups to warm us all on the snowy winter days ahead!
I’ve spotlight a trio of my family favorites heart warming soups for a snowy day or any day in fact!
Garlicky Baby Bela Mushroom Soup with Brown Rice
Making soup is so much fun on a cold wintry day especially when I use mushrooms. I make many different soups but I like this soup so much that I make it over and over changing a little here and a little there. Today I wanted the soup very flavorful add four cloves of garlic! Garlic sauteing filled my kitchen, so delightful.
Baby Bela Garlic Mushroom Soup with Brown Rice
2 tablespoon olive oil with Myer lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz baby Bela mushrooms, chopped
32 oz organic vegetable broth
2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
1/4 cup brown rice, I used Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Melody
Rinse mushrooms well and pat dry. Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic sauteing for 5 minutes on low heat. Don’t let garlic brown. Add mushrooms; continue sauteing for 10 minutes. Pour in broth bring to a boil. Add herbs and rice; cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Spinach, cheese and egg Chichen Soup – Stracciatella
This recipe for Stracciatella is an old family recipe that my grandmother passed down to my mother and my mother to me. Every Italian family has their own way of making Stracciatella, some families use eggs, cheese and pasta, some families use only eggs and cheese, our family uses spinach, eggs, cheese and chicken. I love this wonderful soup that is a meal with a salad and a beautiful loaf of bread. I have included my mothers recipe for Chicken stock or you can substitute low fat chicken broth.(chicken stock isn’t that hard to make!) If you use chicken broth use 4 quarts. And I love chicken in the soup so just add 3 cups of cooked chicken.
1 4 1/2 lb 5 lb whole chicken
2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 carrots, quartered
2 medium onions, halved
6 fresh parsley stems(without leaves)
1 Turkish bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
3-4 qt cold water, enough to cover the chicken
1 1/2 tsp salt
Wash chicken well. My mother always put a tablespoon of sea salt in the chicken cavity for a few minutes and then rinses the chicken well. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large 10-qt pot. Skim the frothy fat off until there is no more sudsy fat. Simmer for 3 hours, covered. Remove chicken to a large bowl and set aside. The chicken will be very tender and fall apart. Let cool and then remove meat from the chicken. set aside The white meat is what I like to use in my soup. Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard the remains in the sieve. If using stock right away, skim off and discard any reminding fat. If not cool stock completely, skim fat and then chill covered. If you make the stock a day ahead and chill over night the fat will form on the top and is very easy to remove making the stock lower in fat. Stock will keep chilled for 3 days or can be frozen for 1 month.
1 box 10 oz frozen chopped spinach
1 cup Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
Cooked chicken about 3 cups cut into bit size pieces
Cook spinach according to package instructions, I like to microwave. Beat eggs well in large bowl adding spinach and 1 cup cheese. Bring stock to boil, add spinach mixture. Don’t stir for a minute or two. Stir and reduce heat immediately to low. Continue stirring for 4 to 5 more minutes. Add cooked chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, topped with additional grated cheese.
Tortellini and Escarole Soup
3 Tablespoon olive oil
3 clovers garlic crushed
2 shallots, chopped
1 head of escarole, thoroughly washed and cut into bit size pieces
1 box(32 oz.) organic low salt chicken broth, I love Trader Joe’s
1 package cheese tortellini(9 oz) fresh or frozen
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook garlic and shallots in olive oil on low for 5 just until shallots are translucent. Don’t brown garlic (it taste bitter if you do). Add escarole, stir, coating escarole with olive and cook for another 5 minutes just until the escarole is wilted. Add chicken broth, tortellini, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over individual servings if you want. Serve with fresh Italian bread and a salad for a wonderful fall meal.
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