When cold weather comes, there are many recipes that bring comfort and respite from the frigid Midwest winter and annual polar vortexes. Chicken and dumplings, pot pie, lasagna, chicken paprikash and tamales are all popular cold-weather comfort foods. But none of them compare to my favorite thing to cook up in the winter: soup.
Soup is perhaps the holy grail of winter recipes. It comes in all forms – be it pho, ramen, Italian wedding or classic chicken noodle, there is a soup for everyone. A perfectly balanced broth warms even the coldest of people, and the fillings add flavors and textures that seem impossible to exist in a bowl of liquid. Beyond the expansive flavor profile of soup, you can pack it with tons of nutritious ingredients to keep your body happy when the wind and snow are relentless and the sun won’t shine.
The dish itself belongs to a broad and inclusive category – anything that is cooked and served in a broth or stock counts. With that, the possibilities are endless. It’s also inclusive in its preparation and consumption. There’s no good way to cook a single serving of soup and storing a stockpot full of leftovers doesn’t sound like a great option. Taking time to make a pot of soup with friends, talking while the broth simmers and continuing that conversation over your dinner is exactly what a good meal should do.
I took the time to make a pot of soup with friends this past week because once the weather goes into the negatives, all I want to eat is soup. I adapted this easy white bean and kale soup recipe to have more vegetables and fit my dietary restrictions. This recipe delivered everything I was looking for – it was nutritious and had a depth of flavor that you only get from a good soup.
My adapted recipe is below, for those who are feeling the need to cook some winter soup along with me. A tip: save your vegetable scraps for later and turn them into a broth for your next recipe.