It’s crummy outside, and there’s a block of soup stock in my freezer that’s begging to be let out. Cold weather deserves hot soup, and hot soup deserves flavorful herbs and spices. There are a couple recipes that have especially restored warmth to my bones and spirit during this frigid, frosty, and downright rainy month. This first one goes out to all the Nonnas. Italian White Bean is a delicious, hearty soup with aromatics courtesy of our Italian Herb Blend. For extra flavor and richness, boil your sausage first and save that water for the broth. (A trick I should have figured out long ago.) This soup earned me extra credit as a spice merchant. The sausage in this recipe is from Homestead Meats—A craft butcher shop in Evanston, Illinois that uses our spices in some of their handmade sausages and cured meats.
You can certainly make the beans for this soup from dried, but I made things easier with canned cannellini beans. (I mean...it’s in the name.) For even richer soup, replace the sausage with pancetta. Make sure to fry it in the pot first, and cook the veggies in the rendered fat. You could also add pasta to this soup, like Ditalini or Orzo. If you do add pasta, toss it right into the soup near the end, letting it cook in the broth. I prefer having mine with toasted semolina bread, so I went without.
Creamy Cauliflower is the security blanket of soups, a velvety dish that comforts and warms you. It is also the sophisticated cousin of Broccoli cheddar, in the same manner that Fettuccine Alfredo is to Macaroni and Cheese. This recipe is simple, satisfying, and quick to prepare, making it ideal for a Saturday lunch or weeknight dinner. Blended soups are often simple, but still maintain a level of elegance. Flex your garnish skills with olive oil and paprika, and serve this to impressed guests. You’ll look like a genius, even if you made it the day before.
The Spanish Smoked Hot Paprika lifts this whole dish, adding a nice depth of flavor to each spoonful. Add the paprika at the end, the heat of the soup will gently release the spice’s pleasant aroma. This also keeps your soup from changing color. Paprika’s smokey, earthy, and fruity flavors complement the richness of cream, fontina cheese, and cauliflower. The soup is so creamy that the hot variety is the best option. Its heat can be tamed with the rich soup itself. For the milder crowd, try Smoked Sweet Paprika. These recipes should be seen more as prompts. Soup is a forgiving dish, so play around, taste frequently, and make it how you like it. If you have any spicy soup notes to share, we’d love to hear them! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article and recipes by Geoff Marshall