Soup is the perfect warm-ups from a cold winter’s night

When February’s wind chill sends the mercury into hiding, soups, stews and chowders are like a warm, comfortable blanket.

Make double (or triple!) batches to put into serving-size containers and have them at the ready in the freezer. Just pop them into the microwave for a quick-as-fast-food meal without the fast-food expense.
Here are a few favorites perfect for freezing.

Besides her two favorite jobs of wife and mom, Michelle Ann Anderson is a freelance writer who enjoys writing cookbooks and sharing her love of food.

Southwest-Style Corn Chowder with Tortillas

This meatless chowder is creamy and filling. Adjust the amount of heat for your family’s preference.

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized sweet
  • onion, diced
  • 6 cups frozen Southwest-style corn (with bell peppers and onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. toasted cumin seed, ground
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups half and half
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Jalapeno Tabasco to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Tortilla chips for garnish

Step 1: Sweat the onions and corn
Heat the butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, corn, garlic and cumin. Cook until the onion is soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 2: Cook the flour
Sprinkle flour over the onion and corn; stir, cooking until flour is golden, 5-7 minutes.

Step 3: Make the soup
Pour in the vegetable stock and potatoes; stirring well to combine. Be sure to stir in all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil; continue to boil for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the half and half. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco; heat until just warm.

Step 4: Finish and serve
Stir in the cilantro. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with tortilla chips.

Chuck Wagon Three Bean Chili

  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, chicken or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can (7 ounces) diced green chilies
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) white beans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes seasoned with oregano and basil
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Several drops jalapeno Tabasco

Step 1: Brown meat
In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Break up beef into pot. Cook, stirring often, until meat is no longer pink.

Step 2: Add vegetables
Add onion and garlic to the browned meat. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Finish
Add chilies, kidney, white and black beans and their juices, tomatoes, chili powder, salt, pepper, sugar and Tabasco to the pot; stir until well combined.

Step 4: Simmer
Reduce heat to low; simmer for 30 minutes. Serve while hot.

Beef Stew

This hearty Midwestern classic is full of beef and vegetables. Complete the meal by adding a tossed salad and a dinner roll.

  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces and halved or quartered
  • 2-3 potatoes, halved or quartered lengthwise
  • 1 can (14 ounces) stewed, diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf

Step 1: Dredge meat
Put stew meat, flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a large zip-top bag; seal bag. Shake bag to coat meat with flour and seasonings.

Step 2: Brown meat
Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Carefully place seasoned meat in pot. Cook until well browned, turning as needed to brown evenly.

Step 3: Add vegetables
Place onion, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and bay leaf into the pot. Add enough water to just cover the meat and vegetables. Stir to combine.

Step 4: Simmer
Reduce heat to medium; simmer stew for two to three hours or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaf and serve.


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