The 8th Annual National Soup Swap Day was January 26, but even if you missed out on that tasty tradition, you can reap the benefits. The groundhog says it'll still be soup weather for some time, so we tapped the experts at America's Test Kitchen for their top soup-making tips. Plus, a totally swappable recipe for vegan chili from the Boston Food Swap will warm you up, inside and out.
Freeze broth in different sizes makes it easy for any recipe.
For pan sauces, stir-fry sauces, and vegetable braises, a small, ice cube-sized amount of broth is all you need. Pour in an ice cube tray, freeze, and then store in a zip-top freezer bag.
Pour broth in the cups of a muffin tin, freeze, and then store in a zip-top freezer bag. This is the right amount for casseroles and braising/steaming/poaching liquid.
For soup, rice, gravy and stew-sized portions, line a measuring cup with a freezer bag and pour in the cooled broth.
Make sure your soup serving is fuss-free.
America's Test Kitchen has clearly thought of everything. For ladles that don't drip, "before lifting the filled ladle up and out of the pot, dip the bottom back into the pot, so the liquid comes about halfway up the ladle. The tension on the surface of the soup grabs any drips and pulls them back into the pot."
For quick single servings, distribute into 10- or 12-ounce paper cups, then label, wrap, and freeze. Then you can defrost only what you need, when you need it.
Why mess with gravy separators? Try this: "Place a large lettuce leaf on the surface of the liquid in the pot; it will absorb excess fat, and then you can remove and discard it." Genius!
Avoid soup on the ceiling: make sure to vent your blender when working with hot liquid!
Now get to soup-making! Here's a tasty vegan chili that will warm you up during the next Polar Vortex:
Vegan Chipotle Chili
from Lyn Huckabee, co-founder of The Boston Food Swap
This chili was designed to use what ingredients I had in the house, including the contents of my Boston Organics box. The recipe leaves a lot of room to adjust flavors and use whatever vegetables and beans you have on hand.
- 1/2c each dried black, kidney, and pinto beans, cooked. If you prefer canned beans, 1 can each.
- 1 28oz can of low salt diced tomatoes
- 2T coconut oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 8oz tempeh (I used Light Life Foods 3 grain), chopped finely
- 1 sweet pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2c diced root vegetables, roasted (I used leftover carrots, rutabaga, and celeriac roasted with tamari and miso)
- 1c vegetable stock
- 2T cumin
- 2T chili powder
- 2 chipotle chilies from a can, chopped finely plus 2t of adobo sauce
- 2T cocoa powder
- 2T tamari
- 1/4c blackstrap molasses
- 1/4c cornmeal
- salt and pepper to taste
- If you are cooking dried beans, simmer tomatoes on low in a separate pot while the beans cook. You are trying to bring out the sweetness in the tomatoes with long, slow heat. If you're using canned beans, feel free to skip this step.
- Once beans are cooked and tomatoes are reduced, heat coconut oil in a large skillet on medium high. Saute onion for a few minutes, until transluscent. Add tempeh and pepper, sauteing for a few more minutes until peppers are soft. Finally, add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds before taking the skillet off of the heat.
- Pour the drained beans, tomatoes, and sauteed tempeh mixture in a large crock pot.
- Add stock, cumin, chili powder, chipotles, cocoa powder, tamari, and molasses to the crock pot.
- Cook chili on low in the crock pot for at least 6 hours. This is a great recipe to assemble the night before and leave in the crock pot while you're at work!
- About 30 minutes before serving, stir in cornmeal, salt and pepper.
- Serve with rice and greens for a filling cold weather meal!
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About the Authors
Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out
|Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »|