January is moving along quickly, and even though it has been a mild winter for us so far, I have not done much in the way of winter chores outdoors. There’s cutting back the ornamental grasses left to do, as well as pruning trees and roses, but I still have lots of time for that. My focus for this month is spending lots of time indoors working on some projects that I had put on the “back burner” some time ago. It feels so good to finally be pursuing these interests again.
One of my favorite meals in winter is soup and stews – – so easy to make, healthy, and as comforting as a homemade quilt. I love that while I’m busy working (playing) on my projects, the house is filled with the savory aromas of dinner.
Today, I’m sharing three delicious, wintry soups that I’ve recently made. Hope there is one that appeals to you and your family. Enjoy!
Southwest Beef Chili with Corn
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 poblano or bell pepper, chopped
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon chili powder
kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup corn kernals
1/2 cup grated cheddar
2 scallions, sliced
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high-heat. Add the carrots, onion, and poblano and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it is no longer pink.
2. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring until it is slightly darkened, 1 minute. Add the beans, chili powder, 3 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
1 lb. cod, halibut, or any firm fleshed white fish, cubed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (14 ounces) beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
7 ounces cooked clams
1/2 pound cooked shrimp
6 ounces cooked crab meat
- Combine fish pieces, mushrooms, carrots, onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato sauce, broth, salt, black pepper and oregano in slow cooker. Cover; cook on low 10 -12 hours.
- Turn slow cooker to high. Add clams, shrimp, and crabmeat. Cover; cook 15 – 30 minutes or until seafood is heated through. NOTE: This type of seafood is delicate and overcooks easily, becoming tough and rubbery, so cook only long enough for foods to be done. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.Mexican Chicken and Dumplings
From Sunset magazine (I copied this recipe out of the magazine quite a few years ago and was not able to find this particular recipe in their online database).
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 green bell pepper, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can (15 ounces) chicken broth
1 can (14 ounces) Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 can (10 ounces) red enchilada sauce
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons chopped jalapeno chilies
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
- Pour oil into a 5 – 6 qt pan (I used an electric skillet) over medium-high heat; when hot, add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and stir often, 5 – 7 minutes.
2. Add broth, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, and chicken to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and jalapeños. In a small bowl, whisk butter into milk; stir into flour mixture until well blended. Drop batter in tablespoon portions into simmering chicken mixture; cover and simmer gently until dumplings are cooked all the way through (cut to test), 10 – 12 minutes. At this time I also added about a cup of frozen corn to the pan (not in original recipe).
4. Ladle chicken, dumplings, and sauce into bowls and serve immediately.