1. Roasted Carrot Soup
With only 7 ingredients (excluding salt and pepper), five steps, and only a half an hour of cooking time, it’s just about the simplest course you’ll ever make. It's dairy-free, but still creamy and complex.
6 to 8 large carrots (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock (good quality, not too high in sodium)
1 piece ginger, an inch long, peeled
1 sprig thyme, plus more for garnish
1/2 large sweet onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel and cut the carrots into 1/2-inch rounds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source and turn on the broiler. Broil the carrots until they brown and soften, turning them over with a spatula every 5 minutes or so; this should take 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil, add the ginger and the sprig of thyme and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Put the onion in a medium stock pot with the remaining olive oil. Brown the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, and then add the carrots.
Remove the ginger and thyme from the stock and add the stock to the pot with the onions and carrots. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the carrots are soft enough to puree.
Use an immersion or a standard blender to puree the mixture until smooth. If the soup seems too thick, add more stock or water and reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, garnish with chopped fresh thyme.
2. Green Chile, Chicken, Posole Soup
Chewy hominy and (spicy) heat star in this recipe. If you do make this ahead to bring for lunch, don’t forget the garnishes — cabbage and lime wedges are non-negotiable.
3. Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Corn and Cilantro
This is the kind of show-stopper that performs well at a dinner party and when you take the leftovers into work the next day since everyone will be jealous. Sweet, roasted red peppers meld with corn for a last ode to summer, in a bowl.
4. Just Good Chili
This chile recipe is just really, really good, and proves that coffee and beer are two of the best beverages to ever meet in a pot of beans. Hearty and perfect for a chilly day.
5. Roasted Celery Soup
Cream of celery soup may bring back bad childhood memories of gross things from cans but! This Roasted Celery Soup promises to revitalize your love for pureed soups.
6. Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon Vinaigrette
This recipe comes with some of the same ingredients you enjoy on a baked potato, but in soup form, which is why it works.
7. Creamy Mushroom Soup
Remember, two soups ago, when we talked about every soup from your childhood preceded by “Cream of’? Here’s another. But this one is also worth giving a shot. Once you chop your way through 1 ½ pounds of mushrooms (a great de-stressing activity, really), you’re basically done. This earthy soup will everyone else's office lunch to shame.
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