Winter wonderland: Festive winter soups

Three hearty recipes that will heat you up on the inside as the temperature takes an unpleasant dive outside.

Tortialla Soup 311 (photo credit: GOURMETKOSHERCOOKING.COM)
Tortialla Soup 311
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Thank G-d the rains have started.  On cold, rainy days, soup and bread are the perfect weeknight dinner.  Here are some soups that end the day just right.  Pick up a loaf of crusty bread at the store (white, rye, whole wheat – whatever your preference) and serve alongside the soup.  Dinner is ready.

' Hot' Tortilla soup


-2 tablespoons oil
-1 onion, sliced thin
-6 cloves garlic, minced
-6 small corn tortillas
-1 tablespoon chili powder
-1 tablespoon cumin powder
-1 bay leaf
-1 pound tomatoes, quartered
-5 cups chicken stock
-1 jalapeno pepper, stem, seeds and membrane removed, chop the rest
-1 bunch cilantro; stems and most leaves (save some leaves for garnish)
-2 ears corn (canned is fine, or roast ears over fire and cut off)
-½ pound smoked turkey, cubed (optional)
Heat oil, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add garlic, tortillas, cumin, and chili powder, and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, jalapeno, bay leaf and cilantro. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for ½ hour.
Puree with hand blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Before serving add corn and turkey (if desired) and reheat. Garnish with a little tofutti sour cream on top (optional).
The Best Minestrone Soup
This is the best minestrone soup I ever made! I’m not bragging, I’m just telling you so that you can enjoy it too. And not only is it the best, it is also incredibly easy to make. You just throw everything into the pot. You can throw in other things you may have in your kitchen such as zucchini, celery, spinach, cabbage…it’s a great way to use up leftover vegetables. You don’t have to follow my directions exactly but this is what I threw in:
-1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
-2 fennel bulbs, halved and sliced
-½ pound green beans
-1 (15 ounce) can chick peas, drained
-1 (8 ounce) can corn, drained
-4 carrots, chopped
-2 (29 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
-1 jalapeno, sliced
4 cups water
3 (32 ounce) boxes tomato soup
-½ teaspoon pepper
-1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti, broken in half
Grated parmesan cheese, if desired
Throw (or gently pour) everything into a large soup pot, except the pasta and the cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft – from ½ to 1 hour. Add pasta and cook until al dente – about 8 to 10 minutes. Pass the cheese.
Lamb and Lentil Soup
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 onion, chopped
-1 teaspoon minced garlic
-2 teaspoons cumin
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-½ teaspoon pepper
-¼ teaspoon allspice
-2 celery stalks, chopped
-2 carrots, chopped
-1-1/2 cups lentils, rinsed and drained
-1 (15 ounce) can tomato purée
-2 cups water
-6 cups chicken broth
-1 pound ground lamb
-1 egg
-½ teaspoon cinnamon
-¼ teaspoon pepper
-4 cups chopped spinach
In a large stockpot, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add spices and mix well. Add celery and carrots and sauté briefly. Add lentils, tomato purée, water and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Mix together ground lamb, egg, cinnamon and pepper and form into balls. Add to soup, increase heat slightly and simmer until cooked – about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach.
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