Winter Comfort Means Soup

By Jacqueline G. Goodwin, Ed.D.

On cold winter nights, nothing is better than a hot bowl of soup. Easy to make from scratch,  it’s a great idea to make a large pot so you can reheat the leftovers for additional meals throughout the week. Whether the need for comfort such as Chicken Noodle or the nourishment of Split Pea or Cream of Potato, when the holidays are over and the busy season of entertaining gives way to the New Year, it’s just what is needed to warm us up when the thermometer drops. So put on your apron, pull out your largest stock pot, and get simmering. Here are some cold-weathered favorites to warm you up.


• 2 cups cubed chicken
• 1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 large onion chopped
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 10 cups chicken broth
• 4 stalks celery, chopped
• 4 medium carrots, chopped
• 3 cups uncooked egg noodles (about 8 ounces)
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to stockpot for 3-4 minutes. 
Remove chicken from pan, reserving 2 tablespoons from drippings. Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute longer. Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil. Add celery and carrots. 
Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 25-30 minutes. Add noodles. Let stand, covered, until noodles are tender, 20-22 minutes. Serves 8.


• 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
• 1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
• 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
• 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

In a large saucepan, bring broth and onion to a boil. Reduce heat. Add the vegetables; cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in chicken and soup. Simmer until ingredients are thoroughly cooked. Serves 6-8.


• 1 package (16 ounces) dried green split peas
• 1 ham bone with meat
• 2 1/2 quarts water
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cup chopped carrot
• 1 cup chopped celery

Place peas in a Dutch oven. Add water to cover. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 to 4 hours or until peas are softened. Drain and rinse peas, discarding liquid. Return peas to Dutch oven. 
Add water, ham bone, onion, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 11/2 hours, stirring occasionally. 
Remove the ham bone. Remove meat from bone. Discard bone. Dice meat and return to soup. Add carrots and celery. Simmer, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes or until soup reaches desired thickness and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Serves 10-12.

Cream of Potato

• 6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 6 stocks celery, chopped
• 8 cups water
• 1 onion, chopped
• 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
• 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1 1/2 cups milk

In a large pot, cook the potatoes, carrots and celery in water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid and setting vegetables aside. In the same pot, sauté onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Gently stir in cooked vegetables. Add 1 cup or more of reserved cooking liquid until soup is desired consistency. Serves 8.


• 1 medium onion, sliced
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 1/3 cups beef broth
• 1 tablespoon white wine or water
Ground pepper to taste
• 2 slices French bread (1 inch thick)
• 1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
• 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté onion in butter until tender. Sprinkle with sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Cook and stir for 13-15 minutes or until onion is caramelized. Add broth, wine or water and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Place bread on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil bread until toasted. Turn bread and sprinkle with cheeses. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with toast. Serves 4.


• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
• 1/4 cup butter, cubed
• 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
• 1 cup cubed peeled potato
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 2 medium carrots, chopped
• 1/4 cup Clamato juice
• 1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups milk
• 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 1 can (6 ounces) crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
• 1 cup cooked shrimp

Sauté onion in butter until tender. Stir in broth, potato, celery, carrots, Clamato juice and lemon-pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 
In a small bowl, whisk flour and milk until smooth. Add to soup. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add cheese, crab and shrimp. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Serves 6.


• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes, puréed (include the juice)
• 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. 
Add flour and stir to coat onion and garlic mixture. Add broth, tomatoes, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. 
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Let cool briefly and then purée in two or three batches in a blender or food processor. Rinse the pot and return the soup to the pot. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat if necessary. Serves 8.


• 12 cups water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 cup shredded carrots
• 3 chicken bouillon cubes
• 4 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
• 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
• 2 cans (14-3/4 ounces each) cream-style corn
• 1/4 cup butter

Place first 8 ingredients in a Dutch oven and bring slowly to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in noodles, corn and butter. 
Cook, uncovered, until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 10.