Smiles for SeasonDecember 2023
Festive Cocktails in SWLADecember 2023
by Matt Dye
Winter weather is creeping in, so staying warm and cozy is priority one, and there’s nothing better than sitting under a warm blanket by the fire with a warm bowl of soup. Everyone knows the basic chicken noodle or tomato, here’s a little more variety and spice for the days you need something besides gumbo.
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
Many of us just go for the canned tomato soup, but doing it from scratch isn’t as hard as you may think. Roasting those vegetables gives them that slightly caramelized flavor. Start by preheating your oven and placing fresh red peppers and tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper before roasting until they’re tender and slightly charred. This enhances the natural sweetness of the vegetables, adding depth to your soup. Blend those up and cook up a classic grilled cheese for dipping.
Butternut Squash with Chorizo
There’s something about the smoothness of the squash with the spiciness of the chorizo that’ll make this one of your go-to soups on a rainy day. Begin by peeling and cubing a butternut squash, then sauté it in a pot with chorizo until the squash is tender. Add broth, simmer, and blend until smooth. The chorizo introduces a savory and slightly spicy kick, elevating the earthy flavor of the butternut squash.
There’s nothing better than crawfish in the off-season, and one of the best things to do if you’ve got leftover tails in the freezer is to throw them into this creamy bisque. Start by creating a flavorful base with onions, celery, and bell peppers. Add the crawfish tails and let them infuse their distinct taste into the soup. Finish it off with cream, sherry, and a blend of spices for a rich and indulgent bisque that celebrates the unique flavor of Louisiana.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Want a little of that Mexican spice without having to brave the cold? Not feeling like having to assemble tacos at home? Have the best of both worlds with this soup recipe. Begin by sautéing onions and garlic, then add chicken, broth, tomatoes, and spices. Let it simmer until the flavors meld together. Top with crispy tortilla strips, avocado, and a dollop of sour cream for a soup that’s hearty, flavorful, and reminiscent of your favorite Mexican dish.
Texas Dirt Chili
There are many chili recipes out there. This one is as basic as they come, but don’t be surprised if it becomes your go-to chili recipe in the future. Brown ground beef with onions and garlic, then add tomatoes, beans, and a blend of chili spices. Let it simmer to perfection. The simplicity of this Texas Dirt Chili doesn’t compromise on flavor, making it a comforting and satisfying option for chilly evenings. Serve it with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream for the full flavor profile.