Simple stocks & soups

Coconut curry soup with red lentils and butternut squash. | Priya Hutner

It may be spring according to the calendar, but here in the mountains we are still feeling the winter love. The snow is deep and there will be beautiful spring skiing for months. While there is still a chill in the air, making a pot of hot soup is delightfully satisfying and can be done in little time. One of the tricks to making quick and easy soups is to have stock or broth on hand in the pantry or the freezer. If you are inspired, make your own chicken, beef, vegetable or miso stock that can be used as a base for numerous soups. It also cuts down on time for future soup creations.

While there is still a chill in the air, making a pot of hot soup is delightfully satisfying and can be done in little time.



BASIC STOCKS

Simple Chicken or Beef Stock
1-2 lbs. drumsticks or beef bones
1 large onion, quartered
3 carrots, peeled & cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery
1 t salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Fill a pot with 10 cups of water. Simmer ingredients in a stockpot for 30 minutes and if you have time, let it simmer for 60 minutes or more. The longer it cooks, the richer the stock. If you have an Instant Pot, use the soup function and your stock will be done in 15 to 20 minutes.

Basic Vegetable Stock
1 large onion, quartered
3-5 cloves garlic
3 carrots, peeled cut into large chunks
3 stalks celery with tops
½ C fresh parsley
1 T salt
1 t ground black pepper

Fill a pot with 10 cups of water. Simmer ingredients in a stockpot for 30 minutes or prepare in the Instant Pot using the soup function.


 

Miso soup with ramen. | Priya Hutner

SIMPLE SOUPS

Miso Soup
1 large onion, quartered
3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
¼ C seaweed
½ C miso paste

Fill a pot with 10 cups of water. Add ingredients, except miso paste, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low. Add the miso paste and mix well. This makes a nice base for a soup.

For miso soup, add additional vegetables — spinach and broccoli are a great compliment to this soup — cubed tofu and scallions. Simmer on medium heat until the vegetables are tender, reduce heat to a simmer. Serve with ramen, soba or rice.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 C of chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 C of frozen corn
¼ C fresh cilantro
½ lime, juiced

Add and heat through all of the ingredients and top with strips of crunchy tortillas. A can of black beans is a great addition, too.

Escarole & White Bean Soup
4 C chicken broth
3-5 cloves garlic
1 T olive oil
3-4 heads escarole
1 can cannellini beans
¼ C Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the garlic cloves in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the escarole and cook down until it is wilted. Add the chicken broth, cannellini beans, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock as a base and for a vegan recipe use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese. Ditalini pasta is a great addition to this recipe.

Simple Vietnamese Pho
4 C beef or chicken broth
1 onion, sliced thinly
2 T ginger, grated
Cooked chicken or thinly sliced beef to match stock
Mung bean sprouts
1-2 Thai basil sprigs
1 jalapeno, sliced
Lime juice, fresh
Hoisin sauce
Sriracha or garlic chili sauce to taste

Add onion and garlic to the broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Add your protein to a bowl and top with the broth. Add a handful of mung bean sprouts, the Thai basil, jalapeno and squeeze in fresh lime juice. Add hoisin sauce and a touch of Sriracha or garlic chili sauce for a bit of extra flavor.

Minestrone Soup
4 C vegetable stock
1 package frozen mixed vegetables
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans
1 zucchini, diced
Parmesan cheese

Add the frozen vegetables, tomatoes and cannellini beans to the vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the zucchini and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

Coconut Curry Soup with Red Lentil & Butternut Squash
6 C water
1½ C red lentils
1 C butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 can coconut milk
Curry powder
Salt and pepper

The hardest part of this soup is cutting up the butternut squash. In order to save time, buy cubed squash at the store. Add the water to a stock pot with the red lentils, butternut squash cubed, onion, celery, carrots, coconut milk, salt, pepper and curry powder. Simmer all the ingredients for 30 minutes. Spinach or kale makes a great addition to this soup. Serve with brown or jasmine rice.


Priya Hutner
Priya is a writer, personal chef and meditation teacher. Having moved to the mountains from Sebastian, Fla., she embraces the Tahoe lifestyle and loves to ski, hike, paddle and swim. Priya is the owner of The Seasoned Sage, a business that prepares organic meals and facilitates workshops that promote a health-conscious lifestyle. Priya writes feature articles about music, art, food and recreation. She loves to immerse in story. Whether jumping from a plane, eating obscure foods or hitting the Tahoe-Reno music scene, she is always up for adventure and experience. She is currently writing a memoir about her experience living on an ashram and working on a series of cookbooks.