Sunday, Feb. 3 is the big game, and if you are hosting a few armchair quarterbacks, consider offering up fragrant, warm bowls of homemade soup that they can enjoy throughout the game. You can prepare everything in advance, set it out on game day, and relax. Some crusty breads and spreads will complement the soup and score points for you.
This hearty soup tastes like a Reuben sandwich when the garnishes are added. You can make it in advance and freeze for up to two months; refrigerate overnight to thaw. Recipe from “Great Meals for Busy Days” by Nathalie Dupree; makes 8 servings.
3 pounds corned beef brisket
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
4 to 6 cups beef stock, plus 1/2 cup extra stock
1/4 cup sherry or 12 ounces beer
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon each: salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 to 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
6 to 8 slices dark bread or pumpernickel, cubed and baked 8 to 10 mins. at 350 degrees.
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (optional)
Remove any fat from brisket; cut into 1-inch cubes and set aside. In a 5-quart stockpot, mix sauerkraut, cabbage, and 4 cups of the beef stock. Bring to a boil, then add sherry or beer, onion, garlic and mustard. Simmer 15-20 minutes, adding up to 2 cups more stock as needed. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt butter; stir in flour and cook over medium heat until a light golden brown. Add the 1/2 cup beef stock, tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika and caraway seeds; stir and cook until thick and creamy, then stir into the hot soup. Add cubed brisket; cook about 5 minutes or until heated through. Cool completely if made ahead. Reheat and serve garnished with croutons and Swiss cheese.
Fennel, Apple and Almond Soup
Serve pulled pork sandwiches on the side if you want more protein. To make the soup vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Can be prepared a day in advance; cover tightly and refrigerate, then reheat when ready to use. Recipe from Bon Appetit magazine; makes about 5-1/2 cups, so scale up if serving more than 4.
2 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
8-ounce fennel bulb, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
8-ounce tart green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
6-ounce celery root, peeled and chopped
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons ground toasted almonds
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Garnish: 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds, Fennel fronds
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add fennel and onion; saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Mix in apple, celery root and broth; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Working in batches, transfer mixture to blender and puree until smooth. Add whipping cream, ground almonds and nutmeg; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, or cool completely and refrigerate until ready to use, then reheat as needed. Serve sliced almonds and fennel fronds as garnishes.
Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup
Healthy carrots and sweet potatoes, along with garbanzos, create a vibrant and nutrition-packed, creamy soup without dairy. Curry spices add lots of flavor. Recipe from Sunset magazine; makes about 9 cups, 4 to 6 servings.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
6 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour oil into a 4- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, garlic and ginger; stir often until onion is limp, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garbanzos, carrots, sweet potato and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender when pierced, about 30 minutes. Whirl soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pan; stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Heat until steaming, then serve. Or cool completely, cover and refrigerate until ready to use, reheating before serving.
This robust and slightly spicy beef soup is guaranteed to satisfy. Recipe from “Soups &Stews” by Food &Wine Books; makes 6 servings.
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into half-inch cubes
3 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4-1/2 teaspoons mild paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons hot paprika
1-1/2 quarts canned low-sodium beef broth
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat; add about half the beef. Brown well, about 8 minutes; remove. Repeat with remaining beef. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrot; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add paprika and flour; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Return beef to pot with any juice. Stir in the broth, water, tomatoes, marjoram and salt. Scrape bottom of pot to dislodge any brown bits. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until meat is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Allow to cool completely before refrigerating. When reheated, stir in the parsley and pepper.