Soup is the perfect meal to have during these long, chilly winter days. It's comforting, nutritious and satisfying-there's really nothing better than warming up with a bowl of soup. Well, have you ever been to or hosted a soup swap party? It's a pretty genius idea, especially for all you soup lovers out there! A soup swap is when you and your friends gather together (wine and cocktails included!), socialize and bring multiple quarts of homemade soup. One quart of soup from each person is heated up and used for each guest to sample. Sign me up any day to do this!
At the end of the night, each guest is gifted with a quart container of each soup sample, and it's the perfect meal to store away in your freezer and save throughout the winter! A soup swap is a great way to host a party at your house, especially if you're new to hosting guests at your home, which I know can be very intimidating. There will be less kitchen time for you and more time to socialize and enjoy!
1. Poblano Corn Chowder
The Stagecoach Inn, Salado
This creamy corn chowder from Stagecoach Inn is the perfect soup for the cold winter days. Whether your going to a potluck, staying warm at home with your family or hosting your own soup swap party, it is sure to please! This corn chowder has a nice spicy kick from the roasted poblano peppers, which is just the right amount of heat. It also has plenty of other vegetables like corn, celery and Yukon gold potatoes along with spices like cumin and barbecue rub.
And another plus? It only requires one pot to prepare. That means more time for you to spend with your family and less in the kitchen doing dishes! Executive Chef Justin Holler notes,
"Being from Texas, the Southwest cuisine is engrained in my past. I have found that poblanos have a wonderful balance between heat and flavor, so utilizing them in many recipes gives food that southwest vibe with just enough heat that most people enjoy it. Pairing the poblano heat with sweet corn creates a yin and yang of flavor that is hard to beat."
Get ready for some delicious flavors!
Servings: 4 quarts
- 3 Poblanos (roasted and skin removed)
- 3 lbs. Corn (off the cob)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups cream
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon bbq rub
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 6 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, to taste
Roast peppers and place in metal bowl and wrap in plastic wrap. Allow peppers to steam for 20 minutes, this will separate the skin from the meat of the peppers and allow for easy removal of the skin. Remove skin and seeds and small dice peppers.
Heat oil in large pot, add onions and celery and sweat. Add garlic and stir until garlic is aromatic. Add potatoes, barbecue rub and cumin.
Add stock and allow to come to a simmer. Add corn and cream. Simmer until potatoes are soft. Remove 1 cup and purée. Return to soup and simmer until soup thickens.
Repeat if necessary, but don't overdo it as the soup will also thicken over time. Add poblanos and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
2. Short Rib Chili
Vince Young Steakhouse, Austin
Take your typical ground beef chili and kick it up a notch with this short rib chili with Vince Young Steakhouse's recipe. This is a tomato paste and beer based chili filled with savory spices like chili powder and smoked paprika. Fresh jalapeños give a nice spicy flavor to this Texas-Style, no beans chili making the short ribs the star of the show. Serve with fixings like cheddar cheese, sour cream and cornbread on the side. A hearty, warming meal fitting for a cold day.
Servings: 6-8 people
- 1 1/2 lb boneless short ribs' trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 green peppers, diced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and finely diced
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- 12 ounces Pilsner or light beer
- 1 cup beef stock (optional)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups water
- 1 lime
- Kosher salt and black pepper
Season beef liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Heat saucepan on high heat with olive oil and place all short ribs in to sear. Drain off half of the fat and add tomato paste, and let it all simmer for 5 minutes. Add in the onion, green pepper, jalapeños, and garlic and cook over medium heat until soft (approximately 10 minutes).
Add in the beer and let the mixture reduce by half. Add in the beef stock, chili powder and paprika and simmer for 5 minutes. Add in the water and cover the saucepan.
Let the entire mixture simmer on low heat for 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. (You may need to add water during the cooking depending on the thickness you prefer). Spoon into bowls, juice with the lime and garnish with cheese, sour cream or cornbread.
3. Pepperoni Soup
Second Bar + Kitchen, Austin
This southern Italian soup from Austin's Second Bar + Kitchen is a twist on everyone's favorite pizza pie, pepperoni pie. It was inspired by Executive Chef David Bull's grandma, also known as "Mamma O," who owned a restaurant in New York.
This soup is made by cooking together the lightly browned pepperoni, San Marzano tomatoes (the best tomato cans), tomato juice & sauce, garlic, white wine, fresh herbs and spices. Top off this soup with crunchy garlic croutons and mozzarella cheese and you have yourself a flavorful Italian soup. Red or white wine is highly recommended when enjoying this!
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cups pepperoni, cubed
- 2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flat leafed parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon oregano, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup tomato purée
- 1/4 cup Sauternes (or other sweet white wine)
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Croutons, preferably homemade
In a medium saucepan, warm oil over medium heat. Add the pepperoni and cook, stirring occasionally, until it's lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the onions, celery, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, garlic salt, celery seeds and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the onions are tender, about 8 minutes.
Add the tomato purée and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and reduce the liquid by half, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato juice, tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 bowls and top with the mozzarella and croutons. Serve immediately.
Have you ever been to a soup swap? What did you bring? These three restaurant recipes are sure to be a hit at your next soup swap!