One of my favorite things about living in New England are snow days, and easy soup recipes are what I crave! Nothing warms the heart on a cold winter day quite like soup, especially when its home made.
Mother Nature provides us with the gift of beautifully fresh snow all winter long, which means a lot of snow days. On those days you’ll find me safe at home, staying warm and cooking away. The brilliant white snow falling in my back yard reminds me that I best restock my freezer with home made soups. Soups like the trio spotlighted below.
Baby Bela Garlic Mushroom soup with Brown Rice, Stracciatella, and Tortellini and Escarole soup are three of my family favorites; delicious and easy soup recipes for a snowy day or any day!
Baby Bela Garlic Mushroom Soup with Brown Rice
Making soup is so much fun on a cold wintry day, especially when you use mushrooms. I like this particular soup so much that I make it over and over, changing a little here and a little there. To make the soup extra flavorful I added four cloves of garlic to the recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil with Myer lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz Baby Bela mushrooms, chopped
32 oz organic vegetable broth
2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
1/4 cup brown rice (I used Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Melody)
Rinse mushrooms well and pat dry.
Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic, sauteing for 5 minutes on low heat. Don’t let garlic brown. Add mushrooms and continue sauteing for 10 minutes.
Pour in broth and bring to a boil.
Add herbs and rice; cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Spinach, Cheese and Egg Chicken Soup – Stracciatella
This recipe for Stracciatella is an old family recipe that my grandmother passed down to my mother, and my mother to me. Every Italian family has their own way of making Stracciatella. Some families use eggs, cheese and pasta; others use only eggs and cheese, but our family loves this version with spinach, eggs, cheese and chicken.
I love how this wonderful soup is an easy meal with a salad and a beautiful loaf of bread. I have included my mother’s recipe for chicken stock, but you can substitute low fat chicken broth (chicken stock isn’t that hard to make!). If you use chicken broth, use 4 quarts.
1 whole chicken (about 4 1/2 to 5 lbs)
2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 carrots, quartered
2 medium onions, halved
6 fresh parsley stems (without leaves)
1 Turkish bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
3-4 qt cold water, enough to cover the chicken
1 1/2 tsp salt
Wash chicken well. My mother always put a tablespoon of sea salt in the chicken cavity for a few minutes and then rinsed the chicken well.
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large 10-qt pot. Skim the frothy fat off until there is no more sudsy fat. Simmer for 3 hours, covered. Remove chicken to a large bowl and set aside.
The chicken will be very tender and fall apart. Let cool and then remove meat from the chicken. Set aside The white meat is what I like to use in my soup.
Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard the remains in the sieve. If using stock right away, skim off and discard any remaining fat. If not, cool stock completely, skim fat and then chill covered.
If you make the stock a day ahead and chill over night, the fat will form on the top and is very easy to remove, making the stock lower in fat. Stock will keep chilled for 3 days, or can be frozen for 1 month.
Chicken stock (see above) or 4 quarts of chicken broth
1 box (10 oz) frozen, chopped spinach
1 cup Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into bit size pieces
Cook spinach according to package instructions; I like to microwave.
Beat eggs well in a large bowl, adding spinach and one cup cheese.
Bring stock to boil and add spinach mixture. Stir and reduce heat immediately to low. Continue stirring for 4 to 5 more minutes. Add cooked chicken.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, topped with additional grated cheese.
Tortellini and Escarole Soup
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 shallots, chopped
1 head of escarole, thoroughly washed and cut into bit size pieces
1 box (32 oz) organic low salt chicken broth (I love Trader Joe’s)
1 package cheese tortellini (9 oz) fresh or frozen
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook garlic and shallots in olive oil on low for 5 minutes until shallots are translucent. Don’t brown garlic, it tastes bitter if you do. Add escarole and stir, coating escarole with olive oil. Cook for another 5 minutes until the escarole is wilted.
Add chicken broth, tortellini, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over individual servings.
Serve with fresh Italian bread and a salad for a wonderful meal.