Garden Goodness: Soups, Stews & Chilis

While I do appreciate a good bowl of soup at any time of year, I am particularly fond of them throughout the cold months. I don’t know what the weather is like where you’re sitting but here in Maryland, USA the cold months are upon us…and I’m jonesing for a big bowl of warm-me-to-my-bones deliciousness with some good crusty bread. MmmmmmMMM!! A while back I had asked some friends to share recipes for their favorite soups, stews and chilis. They eagerly obliged, so I’ve typed them up or pasted their links below, alongside a few of my own favorites. If you try your hand at any and have adjustments, improvements or allergy-friendly substitutions to share please drop them into the comments section below. Enjoy!

Roasted Tomato Soup

12 large (about 4 pounds) tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
1/4 cup avocado or grapeseed oil (high flashpoint)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVO)
1/4 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
12 large garlic cloves, peeled
salt and pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus few leaves torn for garnish
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of avocado or grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper, to taste. Spread the tomatoes out on a 13x9x2 Pyrex or non-reactive baking pan skin side up. Roast until very dark in spots, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a bit. *Note: scoop tomatoes out of the bowl onto the baking sheet to avoid pouring excess vinegar/oil onto the pan, it burns during the roasting process and is difficult to clean. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine EVO, onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the basil leaves and sauté with the onions for about 1 minute. Add the roasted tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Puree the tomato mixture with an immersion blender right in the pot. Gradually add heavy cream while blending. The mixture should be very smooth. Simmer for 5 minutes, garnish with torn basil leaves and serve.

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili **shared by Ally Smiddy**

• 1 T olive oil
• 1 lb. lean ground turkey
• 1 small green pepper, seeds and stem removed and chopped
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 T minced garlic
• 1 T chili powder
• 2 tsp. ground cumin
• One can chickpeas
• One can black or kidney beans or both
• one 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
• one 8 oz. can tomato sauce
• 2 cups homemade chicken stock
• 1 large sweet potato, diced into
• salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Step 1. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a medium size soup pot, add ground turkey, and cook over medium-high heat until the turkey is well-browned and all liquid has evaporated. 2. Add the chopped green pepper and chopped onion, and saute about 3-4 minutes over medium heat. 3. Add the minced garlic, chili powder, and ground cumin and cook 1-2 minutes. 4. Then add the chickpeas, black/kidney beans, petite diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken stock to the soup pot and start to simmer the chili on low. 5. While the chili simmers, peel the sweet potatoes and dice into pieces about 3/4 – 1 inches square. 6. Add sweet potatoes to the chili and simmer about an hour, adding a little water if it gets too thick. 7. Taste for seasoning and add salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste. 8. Serve hot. This will keep in the fridge for about a week or can be frozen.

Photo sourced from The Busy Baker, link included below.

Creamy One Pot Butternut Squash Soup **shared by Andrea Klos**

Harvest Soup **shared by Jade McNeely**

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
3 carrots
2 stalks celery
2 cups each – bell peppers, zucchini & butternut squash
6 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cups beef broth
4 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 cups fresh kale
Red pepper flakes and lemon juice to taste

Combine all ingredients in pot on stovetop, simmer over medium heat until butternut squash is tender. Serve and enjoy!

CrockPot Winter Squash Soup **shared by Maura Dawley**

1 acorn squash – peeled, seeded and sliced
1/2 butternut squash – peeled, seeded and sliced
1/2 blue hubbard squash – peeled, seeded and sliced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
12oz chicken broth
8-12oz heavy cream or coconut milk

Combine squash, apples and chicken stock in CrockPot; cook at low heat 8-10 hours. Before serving, use immersion blender to puree contents in CrockPot. Add coconut milk or heavy cream until desired texture is achieved.

Creamy Turnip Soup

2 cups low sodium chicken stock
3/4 pound turnips, peeled & chopped
3/4 pound potatoes, peeled & chopped
1/2 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 thyme sprigs
1/8 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 thick-cut uncured bacon slices
Shredded Colby Jack cheese (garnish)
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped (garnish)

Combine stock, turnips, potatoes, garlic, onion, thyme sprigs, salt, and pepper in a 4-quart pot. Cover and cook on low heat until vegetables are very soft, approximately 6 hours. Thyme sprigs can be removed and discarded. Set 2-3 small potatoes aside. Add cream, and process soup using a blender until smooth. Dice the unprocessed potatoes and stir them into creamed soup. Cook bacon in a non-stick skillet over medium until crisp then remove excess grease by placing bacon on a plate topped with paper towels. Crumble bacon and stir majority into creamed soup. Serve soup topped with remaining crumbled bacon, cheese and scallion garnish.

Orange Sweet Potato & Chickpea Soup **shared by Megan Harvey**

1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1lb sweet potatoes, diced
30oz canned chickpeas
8oz orange juice
4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

In a 6 quart pot, heat oil over medium-high heat then sauté onions 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add sweet potatoes, chickpeas, orange juice and broth, stir well. Bring to light boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer 20-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Use immersion blender to puree all contents then salt and pepper to taste before serving. Note: original instant pot recipe is from this cookbook, available on Amazon.

Dan’s Green Chili

4 tbsp olive oil
2lb pork stew meat, cubed
10-12 fresh tomatillos, diced
1 cup chopped onion
14oz chicken broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 serrano peppers
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Roasted and diced: 2 poblano peppers, 8 anaheim peppers & 2 serrano peppers*

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper pork and toss in flour, then brown all sides. Drain meat and set aside. Add remaining oil to pan along with tomatillos, onion, garlic and fresh peppers. Cook until soft. Combine pork, softened veggies, roasted peppers, broth and remaining spices in crockpot. Cook on high 5-6 hours, then reduce to low for additional 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

*Roasting instructions — rinse peppers, cut in half lengthwise, remove stems and place on baking sheet, skin side up. Drizzle with high flashpoint oil (grapeseed or avocado are recommended) and bake at 450F for 45 minutes or until heavily blistered.

Photo sourced from Butter Your Biscuit, link included below.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup **shared by Kellie Heise**

“This is our new favorite. I picked carrots out of the garden Thursday morning to make it and used an onion I had already harvested. The garlic I used was a gift from the neighbor. I have made it for my book club and my friends and everyone loved it!”

CrockPot Beef Stew

1.5lb cubed beef (chuck or rump roast recommended)
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups green beans
2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup flour
2 cups water
1 cup beer (browns, porters and stouts work best) or dry red wine
2 tbsp beef bouillon
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste (I prefer extra pepper)

Add beef, vegetables, salt, pepper and bay leaf to CrockPot. Combine flour and one cup water in bowl and mix until smooth. Pour over contents of CrockPot. Combine remaining cup of water with boullion then add this and beer or wine to CrockPot and mix thoroughly. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours. Mixing throughout the day yields best results.

Easy French Onion Soup

3 tbsp butter
3 red onions
3 yellow onions
1 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
4 cups beef broth
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
Provolone cheese slices
Crusty bread slices

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and salt, stir and cover, letting onions soften. (~5 minutes) Uncover and let onions caramelize until golden brown over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat if onions are browning too quickly; caramelization should be slow, taking about 45 minutes. Once onions have caramelized, add wine and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in flour and let thicken. (2-3 minutes) Add broth, thyme and black pepper to the onion mixture and boil uncovered for ~10 minutes. Additional salt and pepper can be added now to meet your preference. Turn on broiler while soup simmers. Ladle soup into oven-proof crocks, add bread and top with one or two slices of provolone cheese. Broil until brown and bubbly.

I don’t know about you but I am definitely looking forward to giving some of these recipes a try! There is a wide assortment of vegetables represented here, many of which are varieties that we find ourselves struggling to keep up with throughout the growing season. (i.e. tomatoes, squash, peppers, etc.) I hope they warm your bellies and get you and yours through until the dreary days of winter have passed us and spring’s warm kiss greets us at the door. Cheers, friends!

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