It’s that time of the year again when the start of the semester collides with winter. Students that went home for the break must once again adjust to taking care of themselves, and all must now contend with school being piled back onto their responsibilities. I know that the beginning of the semester is when I usually have the most time to juggle everything, but even then some of my tasks don’t get the attention they deserve. In particular, cooking tends to be pushed into the “deal with that later” category, which doesn’t usually work well. This week, while looking outside at the snowy weather, I realized I was making things much harder than they needed to be. This is the perfect weather to enjoy a bowl of soup. It warms you up after being outside, a batch can keep you full for a week, and it’s usually not too much trouble to make. To help out your dinner plans, too, here are some ideas for easy soups to make this semester.
In the South, eating blacked eyed peas on New Years Day is considered to be good luck. I’m not entirely sure how my family ended up adopting this tradition, but it’s always the first soup that we make in the year. Though we’re a bit past New Years Day, this soup is still delicious and simple to make. The recipe given above is nice in the fact that it offers both a version with ham and a vegetarian/vegan option, both complete with delicious smokey flavor.
Hearty Potato & Sausage Chowder
This particular soup was a staple from my childhood. I remember coming home on a wintry day to be greeted by the wonderful smells of simmering chowder. This soup came out of a cookbook, so get ready for an incoming recipe! It’s just so amazing that it really deserves to be shared.
¼ cup butter or margarine
1½ cups (1 large) thinly sliced onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups (3 medium) potatoes
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces (2 medium) cooked Polish sausages, cut into ¼-inch slices
In 3-quart saucepan melt butter. Stir in onion; cook over medium heat until tender (4 to 5 minutes). Stir in flour until smooth and bubbly (1 minute). Stir in potatoes, milk, salt and pepper. Cover; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork tender (25 to 30 minutes). Stir in cheese and sausage. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted and sausage is heated through (2 to 3 minutes).
I hope these two soup ideas inspired you! The best thing about soup is that you basically throw all the ingredients into a pot and let it simmer until everything is cooked. If you don’t like an ingredient, or think another one would make a good addition, there is nothing stopping you from making all the changes that you want or coming up with a new soup entirely! Happy cooking, everyone!