Have you had enough of winter yet? We have! Our Portland office has seen lots of rain, ice, and even a few inches of snow, while our East Coast editors have been buried under over a foot of powder. And while we know spring is on its way, we’re noshing on some of our favorite comfort foods until it gets here.
Here in the Plum Deluxe kitchens, we’ve been cooking up huge potfuls of delicious soup to soothe our chilly bones. We’re excited to share three of them with you — and hopefully say goodbye to winter soon!
Macaroni and Cheese Soup with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
from Nikki Gladd at Seeded At The Table
A twist from your favorite macaroni and cheese, in soup form. Topped with tangy roasted tomatoes and served with crispy avocado dippers.
For the Tomatoes:
- 12 small cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
For the Soup:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dry macaroni elbows
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (white or black)
- 8-ounce block extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
For the Roasted Tomatoes:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Layer the tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature while preparing the soup.
For the Soup:
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute (stir frequently to avoid burning). Using a whisk, mix in the flour until smooth, then slowly pour in the vegetable broth and whisk to combine. Drop in the bay leaf.
Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in the macaroni and cook at a boil until just tender, about 8-9 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the whipping cream, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and pepper. Mix in the cheese and continue to stir until melted into the soup. Bring to a boil again and let boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and serve immediately in individual bowls, topped with the roasted tomatoes.
Rustic Chili with Pumpkin, Beef, and Butternut Squash
from Nick Church
When you’re looking for a winter pick-me-up, or you just need to cook a large pot of something that will be delicious for a week’s lunches, this is my go-to-pot-of-deliciousness. Sure, it’s a bit labor intensive, but it’s well worth it and almost guilt-free. It’s savory and delicious.
- 6 large chilies of your favorite kind (I used Anaheim)
- 1 cup diced bacon
- 4 cups chopped onions
- 5 pounds stewing beef, cut into 3-inch cubes
- 1/2 can canned pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon fat)
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
- 2 cans roasted and diced tomatoes (yielding about 3 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
Set your oven on Broil.
Split your chilies in half, removing seeds and ribs. Place on a cookie sheet, skin up, and roast until the skins start to turn black (about 7-10 minutes). Remove from oven and place directly into a zipper-top bag (we’ll come back to these).
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
In a Dutch oven, sauté the bacon over medium-high heat until it renders, add onions and cook until tender (about 5 or so minutes), remove everything, and add olive oil (or extra bacon fat) to the pan.
Turn the pan on high and add the beef to the pot, add pumpkin, salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes on high, stirring frequently. After 5 minutes, turn heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally.
In a blender, add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, parsley, coriander, salt, and cilantro. Blend with a half cup of beef stock, until liquid. When complete, add to the pot and stir well.
Peel the skins from the chilies with the back of a butter knife, chop finely, and add to the pot. Add tomatoes and beef stock.
Bring the whole pot to a simmer over high heat, then cover and put in the oven to cook for about 2 hours.
Add the butternut squash to the mixture and cook for another 45 minutes, uncovered.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with your favorite crusty bread. If you’d like a little bit of bright freshness, rough-chop some cilantro to serve on top.
Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup
from Carrie Keplinger at The Gluten Free Hack
This is one of my ultimate comfort soups. The turkey sausage is lean and flavorful, and the beans add heartiness. Best of all, it’s gluten free! Make sure you finish it off with a good drizzle of olive oil, and serve with a side of fresh goat cheese.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 pound turkey sausage, crumbled
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch spinach, chopped, or 1 can whole leaf spinach
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 cans Great Northern Beans
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- olive oil
In a large soup pot over medium heat, cook onion in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for a few minutes, until just beginning to soften. Add turkey sausage and cook well, stirring often to break up. When sausage is cooked through, add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add spinach, diced tomatoes, beans, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir well to mix, then add chicken broth.
Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.
Photo Credits: Nikki Gladd, Nick Church, and Carrie Keplinger.