January 2022 Tidbit

January is soup season! Here are our favorites.

Helen says:

Mine is definitely the Barefoot Contessa’s Italian Wedding Soup. I am obsessed. It is time consuming, but worth it. I think the hint of dill is what makes it so delicious.

  • For the meatballs:
  • ¾ pound ground chicken
  • ½ pound chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the soup:
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch-diced carrots (3 carrots)
  • ¾ cup 1/4-inch-diced celery (2 stalks)
  • 10 cups Homemade Chicken Stock (see link below)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
  • ¼ cup minced fresh dill
  • 12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1- to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium- low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan cheese.

Holly says:

My favorite soup recipe of the season from one of my favorite magazines, Our State.

Bean & Vegetable Chili

On a chilly day, this dish is warming, comforting — and filling.by Lynn Wells

PHOTOGRAPH BY MATT HULSMAN

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 large (28-ounce) can or 2 small (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream, and/or shredded Cheddar cheese (optional, for toppings)

In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add onion, pepper, carrots, celery, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and their juice, drained beans, vegetable broth, and bay leaf. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes.

Remove chili from heat and discard bay leaf. Add cilantro or parsley, stir to combine, and then mix in vinegar, plus more to taste. Add salt to taste. Portion chili into individual bowls and serve with toppings of your choice — or try adding chili to a baked potato.

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