There’s nothing more comforting after seeing the first snowfall on the forecast than a hot bowl of soup.
Well, maybe a forthcoming trip to Florida, but soup at least helps.
Winter soups have been a staple in my household ever since I can remember. There is always a giant pot on the stove with soup cooking, and I can’t imagine staying warm in any other way.
My mother has a couple favorite recipes, all that can be made simply in a blender or food processor in less than an hour. These recipes all make 2 servings, and can be doubled to make enough for more people.


Thai Pumpkin Soup

This special soup was born out of the desire to make a sweet soup a little saltier. The base of the soup is sweet and creamy, but the toppings and ingredients are salty and hearty.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 small garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cup chicken (or veggie!) broth
1/2 tablespoon green chilies, chopped
3/4 cup coconut milk

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

First, sauté the onion in the olive oil until it is soft, then add the tomato paste, pumpkin, garlic and broth. Once that is heated thoroughly, place the mixture in a blender or food processor. Add the chilies and the coconut cream, and start the blender or processor on high. Blend it for about a minute, then add salt and pepper to season.
Finally, garnish the soup with chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts and most importantly, sour cream.


Apple and Sweet Potato Soup

Although this sounds like a strange combination, it’s definitely worth a try. It’s a sweeter soup, but it’s thick and filling, and perfect on a cold day.

Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

2 small sweet potatoes, cut and peeled into wedges
1 medium-sized Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/2 clove of garlic
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon melted butter
1 14-ounce can of vegetable broth

This recipe begins by preheating the oven to 400 F and roasting the sweet potatoes, apples, onions and garlic in a shallow pan. Drizzle the melted butter and olive oil before roasting for 20 to 25 minutes. Once the vegetables and fruit are tender, remove them from the oven and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
Next, add half of the sweet potato mixture and half of the can of broth into a blender or food processor. Blend or process until almost smooth. Finally, heat the mixture. Blend the other half and add.


Corn-Chile Chowder

Finally, my all-time favorite soup. This delicious chowder is the perfect combination of filling and creamy. It’s more work than the first two soups, but if you have a lazy Sunday, it’s more than worth the effort. This recipe also makes up to 8 servings.

Start to finish: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

1 15-ounce can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped poblano chili pepper
1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 large potatoes, cubed
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups half-and-half
1 15-ounce can cream-style corn

Begin by preheating the oven to 450 F and roast the corn, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the onion, peppers and garlic in the hot oil for about 5 minutes until the onion is completely tender. After, stir in the potatoes and vegetable broth. Once the corn is done cooking, stir it into the mixture.
Finally, after bringing the mixture to boiling, add cream-style corn and half-and-half. Cook for another 5 minutes and serve.