By CINDY COOPWOOD • Photography by RORY DOYLE
3 hearty and heart-warming recipes to try right now
When the weather turns cold and gray outside, and you want to stay warm and cozy inside, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up three of our favorite hearty winter soup recipes that will hit the spot. From a bright tomato to a rich tuscan stew, there is something for everyone—plus the most delicious melty, cheesy, garlic pull-apart bread to serve alongside.
Tomato and Bread Soup
2 cups diced yellow onion
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
3 bay leaves
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups cubed rustic bread, cut into about ½-inch cubes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly grated Parmesan, additional croutons, and chopped basil or parsley, for garnish
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on medium heat in a large thick-bottomed pot. Add the diced onions and cook slowly until softened and beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook only another minute or two.
Add tomatoes to the pot with the onions, crushing and breaking them up by hand as you put them in the pot. Add chicken stock, bay leaves, and dried oregano. Bring to a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes.
Prepare the bread croutons while the soup is simmering. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cubed bread to the pan. Toss to coat with the oil spreading the cubes out in a single layer. Leave croutons on one side until that side is golden brown, then use tongs to turn over to another side. Remove from heat, when at least two sides have browned and set aside.
Once the soup base has cooked for 20 minutes, add 1½ cups of the croutons (reserving some for garnish) to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
When ready to serve, remove the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender or upright blender to roughly purée the soup, leaving some chunky bits.
Garnish with grated Parmesan and chopped herbs and croutons.
Tip: About 3 to 4 thick slices of Italian loaf should equal 2 cups of cubed bread. Day-old or slightly stale bread is best.
Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Bread
1 round loaf of crusty rustic bread
1 stick salted butter, melted
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1½ to 2cups cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut bread diagonally in each direction, crisscrossing to make a grid. Make sure not to cut all the way through. Place it on a paper-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, minced garlic and parsley. Brush the bread all over with the melted butter mixture, making sure to get inside crosshatches. Stuff each crevice with the cheese. Wrap in foil and bake the loaf for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted, bubbly, and browning on top! Garnish with more chopped parsley and Parmesan. Pull apart and enjoy!
Tip: This is also delicious served with marinara sauce as an appetizer!
Hearty Tuscan Soup with Sausage and Spinach
5 strips of thick-cut bacon
1 pound Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
4 large red potatoes, unpeeled and diced
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ bag of spinach, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the bacon into small pieces and add it to a large pot. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat to give the bacon a bit of a head start before adding the sausage to the pot.
Allow the sausage and bacon to get nicely browned and crispy, stirring occasionally. If there is an excessive amount, spoon some out, but be sure to leave some of the fat or drippings in the pot for extra flavor. Stir in the onions and garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, water, potatoes, and Italian seasoning to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat to simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add in the cream and spinach, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. The spinach will wilt quickly. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Chicken Chili with White Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 to 6 cups chicken broth
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 can white cannellini beans
½ cup salsa verde
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, cheddar cheese, and yogurt, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, poblano peppers, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, until very fragrant. Add the chicken, then stir in 4 cups broth. Season with more salt and pepper. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Soften cream cheese in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.
Remove chicken from mixture, set aside and shred when cool enough to handle. Stir cream cheese into soup mixture, until fully incorporated, then stir in the shredded chicken, white beans, salsa verde, and cheddar cheese. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. If needed, thin with additional broth.
Ladle the chili into bowls. Top with sour cream, extra cheese, avocado, cilantro, and green onions as desired.
Tip: A rotisserie chicken or other leftover chicken may be used. Simply shred and add along with cream cheese and other ingredients.