A steaming, hearty bowl of soup tops the list as one of our favourite comforts on a chilly, fall day. Packed with tender morsels of meat and colourful vegetables, these soups can be simply paired with some warm, crusty bread for a simple and satisfying meal.
Our Ham and Lentil Soup with Barley highlights two of the major crops grown in the Prairies. Diced ham, canned tomatoes, and dried herbs add flavour to this easy, one-pot meal. This soup can easily be adapted to suit your tastes and needs — swap in your favourite vegetables and herbs to make this soup your own.
While many of us know of goulash as a macaroni dish, our Hungarian Goulash Soup harkens back to its traditional roots, featuring beef slowly simmered in a flavourful broth spiced with paprika and caraway seed. Bacon and smoked paprika add a rich smokiness to the soup, while roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and red wine vinegar add a sweet and tangy kick. The soup is finished with sour cream, so that it is creamy without being too heavy.
HAM AND LENTIL SOUP WITH BARLEY
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped onion
1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced celery
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 cups (1.5 L) canned chicken broth
2 cups (500 mL) diced cooked ham
3/4 cup (175 mL) diced carrot
2/3 cup (150 mL) dried green lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup (125 mL) pearl barley
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp (2 mL) basil, crumbled
1/2 tsp (2 mL) oregano, crumbled
1/2 tsp (2 mL) rosemary, crumbled
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) diced tomatoes
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery; saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Stir in next 10 ingredients (broth through pepper). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes or until lentils and barley are tender. Stir in tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serves 6 to 8.
HUNGARIAN GOULASH SOUP
2 lb (1 kg) stewing beef, cubed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (250 mL) chopped bacon
2 cups (500 mL) diced onions
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp (40 mL) paprika
2 tsp (10 mL) caraway seed
1/2 tsp (2 mL) smoked paprika
6 cups (1.5 L) beef broth
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 mL) diced drained canned roasted red peppers, patted dry
3 tbsp (40 mL) red wine vinegar
3 cups (750 mL) diced unpeeled yellow potatoes (1/4 inch/6 mm)
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper; set aside. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove from heat.
Remove bacon with a slotted spoon; drain bacon on paper towels. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add beef in batches and brown on all sides. Transfer beef to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and sauté, scraping to loosen browned bits, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in paprika, caraway seed and smoked paprika.
Return bacon, beef and any accumulated juices to pan. Stir in broth, tomatoes, roasted peppers and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beef is tender. May be prepared to this point, cooled quickly and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. To cool quickly, transfer mixture to shallow containers and stir frequently.
Bring to a boil before proceeding. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add potatoes and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in sour cream and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. Serve immediately. This soup does not freeze well. Serves 8.
ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s column on healthy eating for busy families runs Wednesdays in the Calgary Herald’s food section. For tips on cooking, food safety or household matters, call 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, email firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with us live online at ATCOBlueFlameKitchen.com.
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