10 ways to supplement your winter meals

10 ways to supplement your winter meals

With night temperatures plunging into the 30s and 40s, winter has certainly arrived in Southern California. A nice hot bowl of soup is a good way to enjoy yourself at the table and ward off the cold.

Thea Bauman’s chickpea and escarole soup with crispy breadcrumbs is easy, quick, tasty and filling. The crunch factor from the homemade bread crumbs is a definite plus. Also on the easy, tasty side is Genevieve Ko’s creamy tomato soup. Forty minutes of the 60-minute cooking does not really require much attention while the soup is simmering, giving you time to whip up a grilled cheese sandwich and / or a green salad to enjoy with. Mayi Brady’s roasted tomato soup is just as hands-free and gets an extra rich flavor by roasting the tomatoes.

Black Bean Tortilla Soup is a great twist on the classic chicken broth and roasted tomato base from the tortilla soups in Mexico City, or the tomato base thickened with ground tortillas typical of California tortilla soups. Diana Kennedy pushes further into the tortilla soup envelope with her lively Sopa de Bolitas de Tortilla (tortilla ball soup) – the tortilla balls are dumplings that you make from tortillas and cotija cheese and fry lightly before simmering in the broth.

Also very aromatic is Jet Tilas Tom Kha Gai (coconut chicken soup), rich in Thai flavors: Makrut lime, galangal, fish sauce, lemongrass and heat (as much or as little as you want) from Thai chili. Deborah Madison’s solid, vegetarian red lentil soup with Berbers fills the senses with the Ethiopian spice blend.

On the more creamy side, Russ Parsons’ Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger uses apple cider vinegar to achieve what he calls “deep squash flavors.” Also flavored with ginger, but in a more broth-like way, Grubs is spinach-mushroom-ginger soup. Parsnips add a dimension of sweetness to the foundation, while roasted mushrooms and cabernet sauvignon add rich flavor to the soup.

A little more understated, but no less complex, is Sonoko Sakai’s Miso Soup with Tofu and Enoki Mushrooms made with your choice of koji or mugi miso. Some misos are saltier than others, Sakai notes, and advises that when making miso soup, always taste and make adjustments.

Creamy or broth, pureed or chunky, spicy or not, these soups can be a first course, an accompaniment to a salad or pasta dish or the full meal. Yes, you have options.

This stew with lentil soup uses red lentils, turmeric and ghee plus a healthy dose of homemade Berbers, the addictive Ethiopian spice blend that colors the soup red and removes the flavor.


Time
50 minutes


Dividends
Serves 8 to 12

Like the iconic canned soup, this easy from the bottom version is smooth and sweet. It is perfect for dipping grilled cheese sandwiches.


Time
1 hour, virtually unattended


Dividends
Serves 4

Tomatoes are toasted with garlic, herbs and a little olive oil until they almost fall apart, pureed and finished with a little heavy cream.


Time
10 minutes


Dividends
Serves 2

Betty Fraser of Grub Gals Catering and Hollywood’s Hidden House was happy to share the recipe for Grub’s spinach mushroom-ginger soup. It is rich and tasteful, and also easy to make.


Time
1 hour and 45 minutes


Dividends
Serves 4

A fantastic tortilla soup can be a revelation – rich with an exciting taste of roasted corn, vibrant with color and toasty, tempting aromas.


Time
1 hour 55 minutes


Dividends
Serves 8

Tortillas are dried, powdered into crumbs, mixed with cotija cheese, milk and eggs and shaped into small balls, which are fried and then simmer briefly in the soup broth.


Time
1 hour


Dividends
Serves 6

Simple, rustic and filling, this soup, accented with fresh ginger, is a great use for smaller honey nuts or acorn squash.


Time
1 hour 10 minutes


Dividends
Serves 6

Homemade breadcrumbs add crunch to this tomato-based soup with potatoes, chickpeas and escarole.


Time
50 minutes


Dividends
Serves 4

Koji or mugi misopasta is used as a base in this soup, which contains tofu, enoki mushrooms and green onions.


Time
15 minutes


Dividends
Serves 4

This Thai favorite gets its sour taste from the lime juice, its saltiness from the fish sauce and its spiciness from the Thai chilies.


Time
15 minutes


Dividends
Serves 4 to 6

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