Thanksgiving Recipes: Soup's On!

Soups to make your holiday table sparkle

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Today, soup's on!

Soup is a great addition to any holiday meal. You can make it ahead of time and refrigerate it for a day or two. The bonus there is the extra time allows the flavors to marry, and that will make it tastier than it was on the day you cooked it.


Roast Chicken, Barley & Mushroom Soup

Here's a soup that calls for a roasted chicken. Sure, you could roast one at home, but to save time and work, just pick up one of the hot, pre-cooked rotisserie chickens at the grocery store. This rich and hearty soup is wonderful way to start the meal.

3 cups roasted chicken, chopped or shredded (You can use a store-cooked rotisserie chicken)

1 quart chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

1 pound cremini or white mushrooms, sliced

½ cup onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 carrot, chopped

1 cup barley, uncooked

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Heat oil and butter in a soup pot. Add onion, carrot, and garlic and sauté for two minutes. Add chicken stock, chicken, mushrooms and barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. The soup should thicken. Add cream and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring frequently. 


Butternut Squash Soup

Squash is a traditional staple of the fall harvest. This soup provides an option for your vegetarian guests. But, you don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this hearty soup that captures the taste of autumn.

2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 quart vegetable broth

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried sage or 3 tablespoons fresh sage

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 3 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 teaspoon dried parsley or 3 teaspoons fresh parsley

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

¼ cup sour cream (optional)

¼ cup sherry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reserve.  Heat oil in soup pot. Add Onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add broth, squash, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Add all other spices. Continue simmering for another 30 minutes. Remove from heat and use a hand blender or mixer to puree. (Be careful of splatters, it's hot!). Serve as it is, or garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of sherry.


Tomato Soup with Rye Croutons

Sometimes it takes to the bright flavors of summer to ease the chill of autumn. This tomato soup brings bright, fresh flavor to your Thanksgiving table. It's not too heavy, and will leave your guests wanting more. Plus, it features homemade croutons, which are so easy to make, yet so much more delicious than anything you can find in a store.

56 ounces canned tomatoes (two large cans)

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil or 3 teaspoons fresh basil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 cups dark rye bread, cubed

4 tablespoons olive oil

Place a small bowl beneath a colander. Remove seeds from tomatoes by squeezing them by hand over the colander. Place seed tomatoes in a bowl and reserve, along with the liquid caught in the the bowl you placed beneath the colander. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot. Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes, tomato liquid, broth, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Add basil and allow to cook for five minutes more. Remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar. Use a hand blender or mixer to puree the soup. Garnish with rye croutons.

Rye Croutons

Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add cubed rye bread making sure to coat each piece with oil. Use a spatula to keep the cubes moving around the pan. Watch the cooking process closely because the cubes can burn quickly. Cook until the cubes are browned, about three minutes.

Later: Side Dishes!

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