HomeFoodSoup and Sarcasm: Savory recipes with an extra side of sass to serve and enjoy this winter

Soup and Sarcasm: Savory recipes with an extra side of sass to serve and enjoy this winter

Published Dec. 13, 2022

BY JEAN LEWELLEN

As winter swings into full gear, sweets stock the shelves and stomach aches become commonplace. While for many the holiday season is the prime time for mindless indulgence, sometimes the savory side is needed to balance out the cascades of chocolate, cheer and corniness. Strap in and let’s bring in a bit more bitterness to match the imminent familial bickering that lies ahead this December.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH BISQUE

Start to finish: 1 hour 45 minutes

Servings: 4-6

1 butternut squash

Butternut squash bisque plated with pretzel logs. (photo by JEAN LEWELLEN)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups of vegetable stock

½ cup diced onion, chopped

½ cup carrots, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon nutmeg 

2 teaspoons paprika

salt and pepper to taste

cayenne pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat.

Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membranes with a spoon. Lightly drizzle oil on squash and season with salt and pepper. Place squash face side down on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 1 ½ hours until tender.

While squash roasts, heat vegetable stock in a large pot on medium to low heat. Once stock reaches a soft boil, throw in everything else like a mad scientist in a kids’ cartoon till vegetables become tender. 

Liberally season stock—a dash of Cayenne isn’t that spicy when it’s in a giant pot of soup, so don’t be afraid of it.

For those without hands of steel, wait till the squash is cooled to scoop out the meat and discard the skin, or be prepared to face the wrath of a fiery gourd.

If the squash managed to come out of the skin in a single piece, be prepared to ruin that. Chop it–precision doesn’t matter here. Integrate chopped up squash to the stock pot and blend, baby, blend! Once smooth, top with garnish, any extra seasonings to taste, and serve.

FRENCH ONION SOUP

Start to finish: 3 hours

Servings: 4-6

4-5 yellow onions, chopped

Fresh french onion soup being served as a Thanksgiving appetizer. (photo by JEAN LEWELLEN)

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 cups beef stock

½ cup dry white wine or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp thyme

salt and pepper to taste

1 ½ cups gruyere

baguette slices, toasted

In a large pot, heat olive oil and start caramelizing them onions baby. Throw in the chopped up onion to the pot once oil is bubbling, and get ready for a 60 to 90 minute extravaganza of standing awkwardly and stirring every so often.

While looking for things to fill the longest hour, start warming up the beef stock in a separate pot over low heat with bay leaves and thyme.

Once onions are caramelized, pour in white wine (or white wine vinegar for a brighter taste) and bring to a boil. Sprinkle in flour and let thicken slightly. Then slowly incorporate warmed stock into the pot, salt and pepper and boil uncovered until soup reaches the desired consistency.

Put soup into oven-safe containers that the soup will be served in. Layer cheese with baguette slices in containers. and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. It’s best to not leave the kitchen when broiling to prevent burnt toast and house fires, neither of which are ideal. If the soup survived the broiler, congrats! That was an exorbitant amount of time to spend making soup. Serve and enjoy it as soon and as hot as possible!

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 5-8

6 cups chicken stock

Hot and fresh chicken noodle soup. (photo by JEAN LEWELLEN)

egg noodles

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

½ cup yellow or white onion, chopped

chicken, shredded

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon parsley

1 tablespoon paprika

thyme to taste

splash of heavy cream or half & half

In a pot, make however many noodles the heart desires following the normal instructions, just consider the potential consequences of how the noodle volume may affect the volume of soup. Get a separate pot to heat chicken stock with bay leaves, parsley, thyme and paprika.

When the stock reaches a soft boil add carrots, celery and onions to the mix, and let them soften. Make sure to not leave the pot unattended for too long though; baby food texture is not the desired outcome for this soup. Incorporate shredded chicken—a rotisserie chicken from the store works just as well as homemade chicken for this. Whatever it is, just make sure it’s already cooked! Salmonella doesn’t make for a good side dish. Finish off by adding the noodles to the soup with a splash of heavy cream or half & half for a creamy taste. Serve and enjoy!

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