I’ve been home on vacation for a week, and the husband has, as much as his schedule permits, taken time off from work (he’s self employed, so this is challenging some days). We’ve done more than our usual share of eating out — I’m taking a bit of vacation from cooking as well — and, sigh, today we looked at each other and said, “Enough.”
Enough restaurant food. Enough going out. While we still have a couple of days left in this vacation, tonight we’re staying in. There is reading, there is writing, there is wine, and there will be, eventually, a home-cooked meal. I’m excited about cooking after a few days away from my knives and pots!
I’m totally in the mood to make soup, and that had me searching through my recipe archives for great soups. As you’ll see below, I’ve settled on a simple soup that features noodles and meatballs (plus ginger and garlic!), but I also have my eye on a pumpkin soup recommended by a friend. I may throw that on the stove to take to work next week for lunch.
Or breakfast. I love soup for breakfast.
To give you a few ideas for great soups that hit the spot, here are the possibilities I found in my database (and, no, I’m not going to include my go-to lentil soup in this round-up. Probably. I’m pretty sure I won’t.)
- Chicken and Sweet Potato Chowder. I love chowders, and this features my beloved sweet potatoes. And since I actually have milk in the house, it’s going on my list for next week.
- Ginger and Lemongrass Thai Soup. Okay, there’s also crispy tofu and wild rice in this soup, so it’s a huge win. Because I am lazy, I buy little tubes of lemongrass at the grocery store — they are located in the produce section, and, frankly, a lifesaver. You can substitute the protein in the recipe — chicken or shrimp would also work well!
- Hot and Sour Soup. Oh, this one of those foods I really miss. Yeah, it’s not the best thing you can order at your local Chinese restaurant, but it’s pure comfort. And, it’s pretty darn easy to make at home.
- Hummus Soup. Yeah, someone went there, and it is good. And rich. The tahini gives the soup a ton of body. The garlic gives it added flavor. The chickpeas? Well, hello hummus! I skipped the cheese in favor of stir-friend minced garlic.
- Pumpkin Soup with Almonds and Sage. Talk about simplicity…canned pumpkin, which is a great pantry item, makes the soup prep very fast. Substitute rice flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour for the flour in the recipe. The final blending is to make the soup silkier. Note: this soup can also be made with sweet potatoes or butternut or other squash. Just sayin’.
- Vietnamese Beef Stew. Every now and then, I make a recipe that is a huge hit with the husband. He’s not a huge fan of soup, so his devouring of the leftovers from this recipe made me very happy. This soup can also be made in a slow cooker — divide the fish sauce and salt in half, adding the second half right before serving to amp up the flavor.
These are just a few of the soups I’ve made and loved (with a bonus soup linked below). I’m also looking forward to trying varieties of chilled soups. I can see from my database that I (apparently) am eager to try a Middle Eastern chilled yogurt soup…at least that’s my conclusion after noticing I’ve saved four different versions!
When it comes to soup, what excites you?
Tip of the Week
As mentioned in the notes for the Vietnamese Beef Stew, it’s good to hold back some seasoning when using a slow cooker. The long, slow braises will be bring out lots of different flavors, and will dull some seasonings. Adding a bit of bright flavor right before serving help make the whole dish pop!
Gluten-Free Meal of the Week
Soup and salad, that’s what’s on the menu. I’m making a Miso Soup with Noodles and Pork Meatballs. The meatballs cook in the broth while I’m getting creative with my salad. Ginger and garlic add lots of flavor, and, frankly, make the house smell amazing.
The soup below is perfect for those nights when you want something light and a lot of flavor. You can omit the sambal oelek for less heat. Also, if you’re not up for making meatballs, just throw in some chicken, even rotisserie chicken!
- Miso Noodle Soup with Meatballs
- Simple Green Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette