I’m really not exaggerating when I say that I live on soup in the winter. For weeknight dinners, it can’t be beat – it’s fast, it’s easy, and there’s practically no cleanup. It’s all the advantages of takeout but homemade.

My freezer was getting kind of bare a few weeks ago – I could almost see the rear wall – and so I went a little soup-nuts one weekend. Of course, the following day my oil burner broke down and I had to run the oven for warmth and I had very little space left in the freezer for more soup… so I made smaller batches. See above.

One of my stand-bys is carrot-ginger, which can be vegan, vegetarian, or neither depending on how you prepare it.


There’s not much to the prep. I should point out that I was… trebling? the recipe here. That container on the right is my orange juice concentrate.


It’s low-maintenance once it’s on the stove and, depending on how you slice your carrots, quite fast. I usually throw in a couple of potatoes, cut small, to thicken things up.


A quick dip of the immersion blender makes it all pretty.


I mentioned trebling the recipe, right? It’s very good soup and my freezer was looking awfully empty.


Right after that, I made some leek soup. There’s nothing easier than leek soup… except if you’re my best friend, who has to call people up at work and ask them what to do with the leek. (I mock because I love.)


For as long as I can remember, my father’s kept a container in the freezer to collect the nutrient-rich liquid at the bottom of the pot/bowl left from steamed vegetables to be recycled into other dishes. He calls it ursuppe. This is my ursuppe, which is almost entirely swiss chard juice. It went into the tomato-cilantro soup, I think.

One of my other favorite soups is pumpkin soup with smoked paprika, which I don’t think I’ve tried to feed Dad because he does not like pumpkin. But this soup might change his mind. It’s also really, really good and extremely easy. Especially when you use canned pumpkin puree, which is more consistent in quality than fresh and far, far easier to get in quantity.

Pumpkin puree is sold right next to the pumpkin pie filling in the baking needs aisle, so make sure you don’t pick up the wrong one. I use it here and also in a spicy Jamaican pumpkin soup and, especially in a strongly-flavored soup, I don’t think you’re missing too much by foregoing the hacking-seeding-roasting-peeling-mashing process.


As a digression, I miss the old Libby’sLibby’sLibby’s logo.


Smoked paprika is a fabulous spice to have around. If you’re just used to the bland plain stuff you get in the supermarket aisle, you’re in for a treat. McCormick’s sells a small bottle (for a ridiculous amount) as part of their ‘gourmet’ collection (green/black bottle instead of red), so you might consider ordering online through Penzeys or somewhere else. I replenished my supply with a sack from Kalustyan’s, so a certain leek illiterate is welcome to bum some.

Smoked paprika works exceptionally well with apples in any format – I like adding it to roasted or broiled apples when serving them as part of a meal. Here, they’re together in the soup.


This is a very thick soup even before you blend it.


It looks very orange here, but the previous picture is more accurate – I don’t really mistake it with the carrot in the freezer. At least not often or in good light.



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