The sunny warm days are over as we enter the fall and winter seasons. Get out your cozy jackets and boots. In addition, get out your blenders to make delicious yet comforting soups to keep you warm for the season. The goal is to make pureed soups healthy and flavorful so I’ve discovered some wonderful recipes to test try over the next couple of months.
POTATO-LEEK BISQUE (recipe adapted from EatingWell.com)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced (see Tip)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 cups nonfat or low-fat milk
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, or to taste
- Thinly sliced fresh chives for garnish
- 1/4 cup minced pitted oil-cured olives
- 3 anchovies, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 8 slices baguette, preferably whole-wheat, toasted
- To prepare bisque: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary and add a bit of water if needed to prevent sticking. Set aside 1/3 cup of the leeks in a small bowl.
- Add potatoes, milk and broth to the pot. Bring to a simmer (do not boil) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- To prepare croutons: Meanwhile, add olives, anchovies and black pepper to the reserved leeks; mix well. Divide evenly among the toasted baguette slices.
- When the potatoes are tender, remove from the heat. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, lemon juice and white pepper. Divide among 8 soup bowls and float a crouton on top of each. Garnish with chives, if desired.
HAM AND BEAN SOUP (recipe adapted from Food.com)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup diced or sliced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups diced ham
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 1/2 cups ham stock (water can be substituted) or 3 1/2 cups chicken broth (water can be substituted)
2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans great northern beans, not drained
3 -4 tablespoons tomato sauce
1. Heat vegetable oil in a soup pot.
2. Add carrots, celery and onion.
3. Sauté for about 4 minutes, just until onion is beginning to soften.
4. Add ham, sauté 2 minutes.
5. Add garlic, sauté one more minute.
6. Add 3 cups stock, bring to a low boil for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
7. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine all but 1/2 of a can of beans, including juice, and the tomato sauce.
8. Process until smooth.
9. Add remaining stock to processor to thin mixture.
10. Process to combine.
11. Add mixture from processor into ham mixture.
12. Add remaining 1/2 can of beans, stir to blend, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
SWEET POTATO SOUP (recipe adapted from MoneyCrasher.com)
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 apple
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 6 baby carrots
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Pinch of brown sugar
Scrub the sweet potato, cut a shallow slit in the top, and pop it in the microwave for 5 minutes on high. While it’s heating up, rinse and cut the apple in half, pop out the seeds, and remove the stems. Throw the apple, chicken broth, peas, and carrots in the blender. Then, gut the sweet potato and toss everything but the peel in the blender as well. Let the machine run on high for about 3 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with brown sugar. This recipe makes 3 cups.
Looking for a blender to help you make these creamy soups? Check out these options:
The Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender forces the mixture down into the blades for smooth results every time. A 3-speed, low, high, pulse touchpad for easy use and cleaning. Plus Ice Crush & Smoothie programs.
With four speeds plus Pulse Mode and a Chop Ice feature, this blender can handle all of your blending tasks. Additionally, a 0.9 horsepower motor and Intelli-Speed Motor Control ensure superb performance and consistent results, no matter what you're blending.
Make tasty smoothies and great drinks or create gourmet soups and sauces with the Cuisinart PowerEdge 700 Blender! It features our Power6 Turbo-Edge blade design to crush ice, purée and mix with maximum efficiency. The timing will always be perfect with a built-in Count-Up Timer, and a great smoothie is just 30 seconds away with the pre-programmed Smoothie function.
With a 1000-watt motor, the Breville BRE800BLXL Die-Cast Blender will blend, crush, and liquefy just about anything for the perfect smoothie or iced drinks. Its innovative Hemisphere Blade and Bowl system ensures food doesn't get trapped on the bottom, while four serrated blades make crushing ice seem effortless.
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