In this harried, indulgent time of year what I actually crave most is food that's simple and nourishing, something that doesn't take a lot of time or fuss to eat but provides warmth and balance. In other words, a big pot of soup. This sweet potato lima bean soup is thick, buttery, and comforting (and also completely vegan). I dare say it might even convert the lima beans haters into lovers.
From the very get-go of planning my Cozy Holiday Potluck, I knew that I wanted to make Bigos Stew. This Polish hunter's dish is a real stick-to-your ribs kind of affair — pork and sausage (several kinds!), sauerkraut, porcini mushrooms, and a few glugs of good beer. It's a bit rich to justify for a weeknight meal, but for a midwinter party with a group of friends who love to eat, it's absolutely perfect.
Right now, the most perfect thing in my life appears to be a bowl of turnip soup. I know. Turnip soup sounds like a punishment, it sounds like near starvation or prison rations but I'm here to say that nothing can be further from the truth. As I sit at my table with the bowl nestled in my hands, its pungent earthy turnip scent swirls around me and steams up the kitchen windows. I listen to the wet, rough rainstorm just on the other side of the windowpane and I consider my good fortune to be exactly here, exactly right now, with exactly this bowl of turnip soup.
Thanksgiving dinner might descend into a face-cramming marathon of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, but if you start the meal with a bowl of light, creamy, perfectly seasoned soup, your dinner will feel downright elegant, if only for a moment. These eight soups rely on the hearty vegetables of late fall and early winter — roasted carrots, butternut squash, cauliflower — and dress them up with holiday-worthy garnishes like buttered pecans and spicy toasted pumpkin seeds.
I love a vintage cookbook, and couldn't resist Ceil Dyer's The After Work Entertaining Cookbook when I spotted it recently at a second hand store for a mere $2. Her advice was probably meant for that new breed of working woman in the seventies — you know, the lady who had to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, all the while with a smile on her face — but this book turned out to be full of great tips and recipes. I came home from work the other day and went to work on a meal from the "Soup Suppers" chapter.
Many years ago, I had a memorably boisterous dinner in the upstate home of a Colombian woman, surrounded by snow and filled with light. It was a blustery winter night and she served a huge clay pot of Ajiaco, a traditional Colombian chicken soup. There was something different about this soup, so I asked if there was a secret ingredient. Indeed, there was one flourish: an herb called guascas that imparts a deep grassy flavor essential to an authentic bowl of Ajiaco.
A hearty vegetarian chili can make a great weeknight dinner or dish to serve to a crowd of mixed eaters. The key is to build in plenty of texture and flavor so the chili is satisfying to the taste buds and belly. Check out our tips and share your own!
Boeuf Bourguignon is so much more than just another beef stew. This classic French dish, made so popular by a certain Ms. Julia Child, is the kind of stew that can earn marriage proposals. The aroma alone — that deeply savory aroma of onions, slow-cooked beef, and red wine — is enough to make your eyes roll skyward and your knees go weak. Make Boeuf Bourguignon once and you'll wonder why anyone ever bothers making anything else.
We've been enjoying a hot and nourishing Soup Week here at The Kitchn, and as we explored good tips and the secrets of really great soups, I realized something. So much of what I know about cooking came from soup. Not braises, not casseroles, not pasta. In many ways, soup taught me the essentials of cooking, and here are ten important things that I learned from making many pots of soup.