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Soups to Warm Up Your World

What says comfort on a cold day like a big bowl of soup?

"Early Show" contributor Katie Lee showed how to update your warm favorites for even better taste with some new ingredients.

"Early Show" Recipes Galore


Roasted Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is a classic, but it's difficult to get good tomatoes in the winter to make this soup homemade. We are going to roast our tomatoes first to bring out all of their natural sweetness and make them more flavorful, which will give us that luxurious, "right off the vine" tomato taste in soup. We put it in a pot and add chicken broth to it and season and then you puree it with the immersion blender.

We will puree this soup by using the immersion blender (a hand blender). You eyeball it and it should take about 5 minutes.

2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in half, seeded, and cored
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into eight equal slices
2 garlic cloves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Prep Time: TK
Cook Time: 3 hours
Serves: 4

I used to always buy canned tomato soup, figuring that making homemade took too much time and effort. Then, my mom passed on this recipe to me. Not only is making homemade tomato soup easy, but it tastes worlds better than its processed counterpart. Roasting the tomatoes makes them even sweeter. If you like your tomato soup creamy, add the heavy cream, or if you are a purist just leave it out.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and thyme on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast in oven for two hours.

Let tomatoes cool to touch. Remove peels, tear into bite-size pieces, and transfer to a stockpot with roasted onion, garlic, and thyme. Add chicken broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 40 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the pot and stir in heavy cream. Simmer for 10 more minutes and serve.

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

While on a girls' trip on my friend Wendi's boat, I had an Asian-style chicken noodle soup. I came home and tried to copy it, but I couldn't quite get the flavors right. After a few attempts, I finally mastered it and came up with this recipe. I like it spicy, so I serve extra chili sauce on the side.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
6 cups chicken broth
3 stalks lemongrass, the bottom 3 inches only, each stalk cut into three 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon chili sauce
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 chicken breasts, pounded and thinly sliced
2 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 3- to 4-ounce pack rice noodles, prepared to package instructions
Cilantro, mint, scallions, bean sprouts, for garnish

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat oil and add onions, garlic, and ginger. Saute until onions are translucent, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add chicken broth, lemongrass, chili sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Increase heat to a low boil, add chicken breasts and cook about 5 minutes. Add cabbage, carrots, and red pepper and simmer an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Divide rice noodles among bowls and ladle chicken soup into each bowl. Garnish with cilantro, mint, scallions, and bean sprouts and serve with additional chili sauce, if desired.

Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup

High in antioxidants and vitamin A, this tasty and healthy soup is a standby at my house. Roast the carrots first to make them really sweet, then puree with ginger and stock. This soup freezes really well, so you can make a big batch and enjoy leftovers another night.

4 cups carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut in large dice
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
2 bay leaves
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Fresh parsley, minced, for garnish
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Roasting carrots brings out all of their sweetness. For this soup, I added some ginger for a spicy contrast and the bay leaves and worcestshire sauce makes a rich backdrop of flavor. By using plain yogurt instead of heavy cream, it still has a creamy texture without all of the fat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the carrots with the one tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until fork tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining one tablespoon olive oil and butter over medium-high heat and sauté onions, ginger, and bay leaves until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper and bring to a low boil. Add carrots, reduce to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend in batches until creamy. Add yogurt and blend to combine. Serve garnished with fresh parsley.

Wild Mushroom Soup

If you love creamy soups, this will be your favorite. Choose your favorite assortment of wild mushrooms to customize to your own taste. Super easy and incredibly rich in flavor. I also like serving this soup as an hors d'oeuvre at parties by spooning it into an espresso cup and topping it with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of chives.

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
3 cups finely diced mixed wild mushrooms
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
Crème fraîche and minced flatleaf parsley, for garnish
Prep time: 15 minutes cook time: 50 minutes
Serves: 12 - 14

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and any moisture has evaporated.

Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 20 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook an additional 10 minutes, stirring often. Serve in espresso cups garnished with crème fraîche and parsley.

Grilled Chipotle Three-Cheese Sandwich

1 7-ounce jar chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I like La Costena brand.)
1/4 cup olive oil
12 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
12 slices of Swiss cheese
12 slices of cheddar cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
12 slices of sourdough bread (thickly sliced if possible)
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 to 8 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

When I was in college, I worked in a great little restaurant called Kona Bistro. Employees ate for free and after a long shift, I always had this sandwich. Be careful, the chipotle puree is spicy!

Place the chipotle peppers and the sauce in a food processor or a blender and puree until smooth. With the machine running slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Place the chipotle puree in a small bowl and set aside.
Preheat a large, heavy fry pan, grill pan, or griddle to medium heat.

Place the bread slices on a work surface and spread each slice with 1 tablespoon chipotle puree. Layer half the bread slices with two slices of each cheese and a few slices of the tomatoes and onions. Top with the remaining slices of bread, chipotle side down. Spread the top and bottom of each sandwich with the butter.

Grill each sandwich for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until the cheese is completely melted and the bread is golden brown. Slice the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

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