Winter Survival: cozy hearty soups

By Jillian Bernardini - Feb 04, 2014 - 12:48 PM
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I'm certain that your quick assessment of the above photo categorizes it as Instagram-ified. I hope you follow me on Instagram! I attempt to post the most alluring food photos, admittedly altering a few through filters due to awkward angles and lighting. I love following fellow food bloggers, friends, and other food related media with hopes of inspiring my personal activities in the kitchen and supporting those that are getting their voices out there.

I'll post pictures of what I'm making in the kitchen [thankfully NOT what I am wearing], new mini-adventures through the streets of Boston, discoveries of innovative food products, and the over-photographed but always deeply thought-provoking sunset, ocean, skyline shots. 

Today's photo, as I currently scrape the bottom of my bowl for a leftovers-style lunch, is a creamy potato cheddar soup that I made John and me for last evening's dinner. Having a Monday off is rare, but I chose to seize as much of the wintry day as possible. Productively starting the week off on a high note, I decided to make a rich soup recipe that I saw featured on The Chew last week.

Now, rendering out bacon lardons, saving the fat, and sauteing onions and garlic in that smoky liquid, it really should be a winter requirement for the base of any soup made on a snowy day. Soups can span from simple to complex, but no matter how many ingredients or how many steps, think about the layers of flavor that you can add to make that soup extra outstanding and satisfying.

Reserve that crispy bacon as a generous garnish, but I also like a little heat, so I add some green chiles before pouring in equal parts stock and milk (or cream for extra richness). Simmer the potatoes in the pot, and for the endless infatuation of my immersion blender, buzz away until extra smooth. 

Adding cheese to the soup before serving and with a final puree, that's all the winter goodness you'll need on the dinner table. I chose to garnish mine with bacon, fresh parsley, hot sauce, and extra cheese (never a bad thing). Slowly savoring spoonful after spoonful, this soup tastes like a cozy combination of a roaring fireplace, and a fluffy fleece throw enveloping your body, all while the snow quickly blankets the city in white. 

Why is this my new favorite soup recipe? Well, potato soup can mean anything, and it's truly a blank canvas, which can be the most exciting style of cooking. Add in an array of vegetables or your choice of liquid to get those potatoes more flavor and fork-tender; whatever is in your pantry can complement this monochromatic tuber. 

Today, take the time to prepare some delicious meals for another winter storm coming our way. What is your favorite soup to make in the wintertime?