So, apparently it has cooled off outside. I think the saying “bun in the oven” must have come about because you always feel like you’re living on the inside of a toasty oven even when the weather app on your phone says differently. Matt looked at the weather forecast a couple days ago and saw where the low is 34 degrees Saturday night. He then remarked that we were going to have to turn on the heat for the first time this fall. To which I shot him the look and he realized this was treacherous water he was heading into. Yes, I realize this means three people will be playing freeze out for the one hot, puffy, swollen person, but they can add layers. I can’t take anymore off. One, because it ain’t pretty and nobody wants to see that. Two, because it’s a struggle to get clothes on and off these days. So, they will wear parkas to bed, and I will sleep with my feet out from under the sheet.
But I will cook them yummy soup. That’s something, right? In the cooler months, we eat soup almost every day. My Le Creuset is my favorite thing in the kitchen this time of year, and I love knowing something yummy is bubbling under that bright red top.
A few of my favorite soups…
Ina Garten’s Roasted Potato & Leek Soup– If you’ve never cooked with leeks, you have to try them. They are in the onion family and add so much flavor. Also, the arugula is a must. It adds a peppery bite. And you will blend everything together so it’s smooth and creamy, so the kids won’t even know it’s in there. I always substitute buttermilk for the heavy cream and sour cream for the creme fraiche. This is Lydia’s all-time favorite soup, and I always think of Heather when I cook this one. Slice up some rosemary olive oil bread, put a slice of Brie on each piece of bread, and toast in the oven until the Brie gets all melty. Serve it with the soup. Delicious!
Ina Garten’s Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup– I learned the secret to roasting vegetables from hours spent watching The Barefoot Contessa on Food Network in college. (I’m quite the party girl, huh?!) This roasted tomato soup will make it next to impossible to ever eat the Campbell’s processed stuff again. We like it with ooey, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches.
Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili– Someone was going for alliteration when she made that title, but this one is great and so easy. We especially love it for game day, and I always serve it over rice, usually with cilantro and lime. You can make your own Ranch seasoning and taco seasoning if you like to avoid preservatives. (Or buy them from Penzey’s which I just discovered and now love, love, love.)
Roasted Ham and Cheddar Soup– This is a new one for us, but I made it a few weeks ago, and it was a big hit. I add a ton more potatoes (like three pounds worth) and a couple extra carrots and celery, and I didn’t mess with the pretzel bowls. These are fun to serve with those little ham and cheese poppy seed sandwiches or just a loaf of bread for dunking. Who doesn’t like dunking bread?? (Update: I forgot to mention two things. First, since I add so many more potatoes I roast the veggies for the better part of an hour. Also, I use my immersion blender to make everything smooth before I add the cheese.)
I’m also going to confess that Matt and I have been making oven s’mores every single night while we watch Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown on Netflix. Apparently, I’m adding on an extra layer for hibernation this winter. But I tell myself it’s because we like chubby babies.
Happy cooler weather! May your little goblins be full of treats and not tricks this weekend!