Winter is unofficially soup season. It’s easy to make, wallet-friendly, and the ultimate comfort food. These recipes are sure to warm up your home and your holidays.
1. Tortilla Soup
“My mother, Maria, is a great cook. She made several dishes out of leftover tortillas and tortilla soup was one of the best. Made in a manner of soups from Mexico, this tried and true tortilla soup is filled with many ethnic ingredients such as tomatoes, garlic, onion, cumin and cilantro to create a savory soup that can be served as an entrée. Tortilla soup is really best served in the winter for its thickness and spiciness…but here in Texas, it’s so good we serve it all year-round!”
– Chef Gabino Acosta
2 Small Onions, roughly chopped
10 Fresh Tomatoes, cored
1 tbsp. Garlic
¼ cup Chili Powder
2 tbsp. Cumin Powder
1 Head of Cilantro
2 quarts Chicken Stock
2 tbsp. Salt
1 ½ tsp. Pepper
1 Guajillo Chili
1 Pasila Chili
2 Tbsp. Blended Oil
1. In a food processor puree the onion, garlic and tomatoes to a smooth puree.
2. Stem the dried chilies and remove the seed then soak in hot water for 15 min then drain.
3. Julienne the tortillas into strips and using ¼ cup blended oil saute in a thick-bottomed pot until crispy but not burnt.
4. Add the puree and chilies to the tortilla and cook for about 10 minutes until thick and the raw taste is gone.
5. Add the spices, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 min.
6. Puree well using a immersion blender and add lime juice.
7. Ensure it is at a perfect consistency, if necessary you can reduce a bit more. Now is the time to taste for salt, add additional if necessary.
8. Serve with crispy corn tortilla strips, avocado, sour cream and pico on top as a garnish.
2. Tomato Soup
“Tomato soup is one that is satisfying to the soul no matter the occasion and as Florida is home to the tomato, we utilize our great local produce to create the soup. In this version, we add some roasted red peppers to add a touch of sweetness and vibrancy to the dish. This soup is complemented with a grilled cheese because the fat from the cheese and butter cuts the acidity of the tomatoes – making the dish perfectly balanced on your palate. Take the example of pickles on a cheeseburger – the vinegar in the pickles cuts the fat from the burger and cheese. This classic soup can be served year round and will always be a crowd pleaser.”
40 oz. Canned Diced Tomatoes
1 Yellow Onion, diced
¼ cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 ½ tsp. Fresh Garlic, finely chopped
⅓ cup Celery, small dice
½ Stick Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp. Thyme, Fresh Picked Leaves
1 ½ Tbsp. Basil, fresh chopped
½ tsp. Black Pepper
¾ tsp. Kosher Salt
1 oz Sherry Wine
½ cup Heavy Cream
5 oz. Roasted Red Peppers
1. Combine onion, garlic and celery with butter in stock pot and sweat until translucent.
2. Add the thyme and sherry and cook for 5 minutes
3. Add the stock, tomatoes, and peppers and simmer for 45 minutes
4. Add the herbs, salt, pepper, and heavy cream.
5. Puree into a smooth consistency and strain.
6. Enjoy with your favorite grilled cheese!
3. Clam Chowder
“The perfect soup to enjoy during chilly winter months, the clam chowder has become a staple in Boston, prepared only with the freshest ingredients of clams, clam broth and juice, potatoes and cream. Unlike the clam chowders prepared in Manhattan or Rhode Island which are tomato-based or clam broth-based, Boston prepares the only type of clam chowder made with cream.” – Chef Gerry Tice
¼ lb. Bacon
½ tbsp. Butter
1 Large Onion
2 Celery Sticks
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Fresh Bay Leaf
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
3 Potatoes, cooked and diced
½ tsp. White Pepper
26 oz. Clams in juice, minced
1 tsp. Worcestershire
2 ½ tbsp. Flour
1 ½ cups Half and Half
1 cup Heavy Cream
¾ tsp. Salt
1. In large heavy pot, cook bacon until crisp, remove bacon and leave bacon fat in pan.
2. Add the butter to the pot with bacon fat and saute onions and celery for about 5 minutes.
3. Add garlic, bay leaves, thyme, cooked potatoes and pepper then cook until soft.
4. Add flour slowly to insure no lumps occur. Cook for 5 minutes.
5. Strain minced clams from clam juice. Stir in reserved clam juice and worchestershire and bring to a boil.
6. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Add half/ half and heavy cream simmer about 10 minutes.
8. Add reserved clams and bacon.
9. Enjoy or chill properly, label and date.
4. Lobster Bisque
Stewed for three hours with a little TLC, heavy cream, sherry, brandy, nutmeg and lobster, this lobster bisque is best served with a 22-ounce bone-in ribeye and good friends that enjoy great food! The delectable delight pairs perfectly with a buttery Chardonnay or an earthy Cabernet Sauvignon and can be devoured year-round by way of spoon or a classic, hot piece of sourdough bread. It’s been described by Bon Appétit
magazine as “what you keep coming back for” and we certainly agree!
1 lb. Lobster Shells
¼ cup + 1 tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
2 Stalks Celery, diced
1 lb. Carrots, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 quarts Water
1 ½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 ½ tbsp. Paprika
5 oz. Brandy
1 ½ oz. Sherry
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
3 cups Heavy Cream
Serve with lobster claw and knuckle meat and green onion.
To make the lobster stock:
Rub lobster shells with tomato paste and roast with carrots, celery, onion & garlic in a roasting pan at 375 for 40 minutes. Pull from oven a de-glaze pan with a splash of Brandy and Transfer to a dutch oven or large soup pot. Add water, cayenne, paprika, brandy, sherry and nutmeg and simmer for 2 hours.
To complete the bisque:
Once simmered for 2 hours, blend and strain. Add heavy cream and thicken with cornstarch slurry. Season to taste with S&P and sherry.