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Tis the Season: Novel Soups for the Feast

Vegetable Soup

Here in Texas, we associate soups, stews and chili with cold-weather eats. Sometimes, though, we don’t invite these wonderful dishes to our Advent parties or Yule feasts.

Time to correct that…

Here are three recipes we enjoy when the weather gets wintry, and they’re not too plebian for the finest banquet:

One Italian, two German dishes. Central Texas fare includes a lot of German influences, by the way; lots of folks from central Europe settled here after Texas became a nation. (We’re still our own nation, we just choose to play nice with others.) So German soups aren’t strangers to our feast tables.

Zuppa Etruscana is a mimic recipe, tasting a lot like the Olive Garden‘s Zuppa Toscana. We like their soup so much we don’t make this one often enough. But when we do, we have to double the recipe!

Shepherd’s Soup is basically steak and potatoes with a thin gravy. You can dress this up with other stuff if you like: beans, corn, peas, kale, the possibilities are endless. Substitute a wee bit of lemon or lime juice in place of the vinegar, if you don’t like that bite. Also: Add a quarter cup of white wine with the broth, it really brightens up the soup!

Beer & Cheese Soup is pretty much what it advertises: Beer and cheese. This soup is quite rich, though. If you want a less-thick soup, add broth, milk or half-and-half to suit. Add a sausage on the side and some pumpernickel bread and you’re in Bavaria. And maybe a dark beer on the side to wash it all down with…

Enjoy the (Souped Up) Heat!

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