Soups: The Ultimate Comfort Food

There is nothing quite as comforting as homemade soup on a cold day. That simmering pot on the stove fills the house with warmth, and delicious aromas. Who can resist a piping-hot bowl of chicken soup when they are feeling ill, or some hearty split pea soup after a long day of work? And what kid doesn’t like tomato soup paired with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich? Here are TheRTAstore’s favorite soups to share with your family around the kitchen table.

Chicken Soup

Probably the most popular comfort food, chicken soup fills you up with good stuff, especially if you are fighting a cold or flu. Be sure to use lots of garlic—it contains powerful antibacterial properties to help you feel better! Start with a whole chicken and place it in a large pot. Cover your bird with equal parts water and chicken broth. Bring your chicken to a slow boil and toss in a dried bay leaf, some diced onion, celery, carrots and crushed garlic. Simmer uncovered until the meat is tender and begins to fall off the bone. Carefully remove the chicken and place in a large bowl. Pick the meat off the bones and return the meat to the simmering pot. Discard the bones, skin and carcass. Season your broth with salt and pepper to taste, and chicken bouillon to boost the flavor. Stir and enjoy!

Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup would not be complete without ham. We recommend purchasing a thick slice of cooked ham from the deli counter, or using leftover baked ham cut into bite-sized squares. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large pot. Add some diced onion, celery and carrots to the pot, and cook until soft and tender, stirring often. Toss in 1 ½ cups green split peas and top with eight cups of water. Cover your soup and boil on medium-low for about an hour or until peas are no longer hard, stirring often. Once cooked, puree your soup in small batches in a food processor or blender and return to the pot. Add your diced ham and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Season your split pea soup with salt and pepper to taste.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Start by adding two tablespoons of butter or extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Sautee some diced onion and two cloves of crushed garlic in the pot, stirring often, and cook until soft. Add two tablespoons of all-purpose flour as a thickener, and stir to coat. Add three cups of chicken or vegetable broth, a large can (28-ounces) of peeled whole tomatoes (un-drained), two teaspoons of white sugar, a handful of chopped fresh basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer covered on low for 30 minutes. Add one cup of heavy cream and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes, stirring often. Puree your soup in small batches in a food processor or blender and return to the pot. Serve with hot grilled cheese sandwich wedges for dipping.

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