Soup It Up
Some semi-homemade ideas to warm up winter
If the thought of cold weather calls for comfort food and sticking to your new year's diet requires fewer calories, then think about your old favorites.
Café 56, located in Eastgate shopping center, is a great example of a place that cooks favorites with flair. Manager Ben Taylor said that fresh ingredients are the key to making good soup.
The restaurant's changing selection gives you lots of choices. For example, one of their best sellers is grilled portobello bisque. The hearty, almost meaty flavor is warm and comforting. If you are looking to cut out meats at least one day a week, then their robust and filling homemade vegetarian chili is a good choice.
However, stopping in to eat or to pick up soup for later is not always an option. If you are hungry for something new, try some of these easy options. Use a squeeze of lemon in any premade chicken-based soup for a different outlook. Matzo ball, chicken and rice/stars will sparkle with this addition. Dill, either fresh or dried, can add some zing to chicken- or tomato-based soups. Don't overlook a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to add visual interest and a bit of protein. Sprinkle shredded cheese and croutons over most any favorite. If you don't have croutons, cut up some toasted bread for added flavor and texture.
Spices such as hot sauce can make a premade soup your own. Although Tabasco is a widely used addition, you can try Cholula as a more flavorful ingredient. If you have leftover sausage or hamburger (either real or vegetarian) crumble it up and mix it in just long enough to to heat thoroughly. The final secret is to add several tablespoons of apple cider ( or juice) to French onion soup. This will transform even the powdered variety into a special treat.
You can go out to try wonderful soups, or with a little creativity add your own special touches to premade standards. Either way, you can soup up your winter menu.