I played a tennis match today with a wind chill of 20 degrees! I have given myself the Polar Bear award for the month! 🙂

Did you know January is SOUP month?! (Who decides these things?) I had a delicious bowl of tomato soup for lunch and will be making soup all weekend. Here’s a few of my favs.

What could be better than a steaming hot bowl of goodness right from your kitchen?

Enchilada Soup

3-1/2 cups beef broth
2 cups water
1/2 pound 95% lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 cup masa harina (instant corn masa mix) or all-purpose flour
2 cans (10 ounces each) enchilada sauce
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
Grated Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

Using Easy Read Measuring Cups, measure broth and water; set aside. In (4-qt.) Dutch oven, cook beef over medium-high heat 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking beef into crumbles. Add bell pepper and garlic to Dutch oven; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add masa harina, enchilada sauce, beans, broth and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer.
Add zucchini to soup; simmer, uncovered, 2-3 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and lime juice. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with cheese, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings (about 10 cups)

Nutrients per serving: (about 11/4 cups): Calories 130, Total Fat 3.5 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Carbohydrate 14 g, Protein 10 g, Sodium 680 mg, Fiber 3 g

French Onion Soup

4 large onions
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

8 1-inch-thick French bread slices
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. For soup, slice onions using Ultimate Slice & Grate fitted with v-shaped thick slicing blade. Melt butter over medium heat in Dutch (6-qt.) Oven; add onions and sugar. Cook and stir 15-18 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are tender and golden brown. Stir in flour and salt. Gradually add beef broth; bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
For croutons, place bread slices on Classic Round Stone; bake 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Grate cheese using Ultimate Slice & Grate fitted with grating blade. Turn bread slices over; sprinkle with cheese. Continue baking 5-8 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and melted.
Ladle soup into bowls; top with croutons.
Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 230, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Carbohydrate 26 g, Protein 11 g, Sodium 550 mg, Fiber 2 g

Hearty Bean Soup

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 can (11.5 ounces) condensed bean with bacon soup
1 1/2 cups water
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
Salt and ground black pepper to taste (optional)

Heat oil in Generation II Small Covered Saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot. Cook and stir until onion is transparent, about 2-3 minutes.
Stir in zucchini, soup, water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls using Nylon Ladle.
Yield: 4 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 170, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol less than 5 mg, Carbohydrate 26 g, Protein 7 g, Sodium 750 mg, Fiber 7 g

Serving Soup — Safely!

What could be simpler than supping on a big, steaming bowl of soup. A hearty soup — made with veggies and meat, poultry, fish or dried beans — can be the main dish for your meal. Add some crackers or breadsticks on the side and perhaps fruit for dessert and you’re ready to eat!

Make a large batch of soup and enjoy some for another meal. Many soups, with the possible exception of seafood soups, may taste better the next day! For best safety and quality, plan to eat refrigerated soup within TWO days. And avoid letting soup set at room temperature for more than TWO hours.

Don’t put a large pot of hot soup directly into your refrigerator. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it would take an 8-inch stock pot of steaming chicken soup 24 HOURS to cool to a safe temperature in your refrigerator. To be safe:

• To speed cooling, transfer soup to shallow containers, making sure soup is no more than TWO inches deep. Refrigerate promptly. You can place loosely covered foods in the refrigerator while still warm; cover when food is completely cooled.

• When serving soup a second time, reheat it until it’s steaming hot throughout, at least 165 F.