January in North Carolina has us winter wusses all out of sorts. Yes our average high is in the 50s, but that’s downright freezing for an Inner Banker.
On the winteriest days when you just can’t shake that Northern chill, it’s always nice to return home to classic kitchen comforts.
This time of year we find ourselves retreating to the kitchen where we dust off the pots (soup-crock-dutch) and whip up recipes that warm you to your core and make you crave the simplicity of the season.
For those of you that have a love of cooking, or those of you that have a love of eating… or likely both… here are some go-to recipes from a few of our resident chefs:
Chicken Noodle Soup a la Heather (& Carver)
The Cure for Covid Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2lbs cooked chicken
- 1 large can of cream of chicken
- 1 32 oz container of chicken stock
- 1 small bag of frozen mixed veggies
- 1 bag of large egg noodles
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- Cayenne pepper
Step 1 – In a large pot bring your chicken stock and cream of chicken to a boil.
Step 2 – Coarsely chop the chicken.
Step 3 – Add the frozen mixed veggies and seasonings to the pot. Allow to boil for about 30 minutes
Step 4 – Add the chopped chicken and egg noodles and boil until noodles are done and soup is thickened.
Chef tip: use a rotisserie chicken, it cuts the cooking time in half and the chicken breaks for a nicer texture
Tortellini Soup a la Connie
Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups beef broth
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup red wine
- 4 large tomatoes – peeled, seeded and chopped (canned will also work)
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- ½ tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 ½ cups sliced zucchini
- 8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Step 1 – In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
Step 2 – Sauté onions and garlic in drippings.
Step 3 – Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil then reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Step 4 – Skim fat from the soup. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Step 5 – Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.
Chef tip: crusty bread and salad makes it a meal!
Corn Chowder a la Rose
Corn, Sausage, and Bell Pepper Chowder
- 2 tbsp butter
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 ½ C chopped onion
- 1 red bell pepper and ½ green bell pepper chopped
- 3 C frozen corn, thawed
- 1 roll Jimmy Dean hot sausage cooked
- 1 ½ tsp chopped garlic
- 1 C milk
- 2 cans chicken broth
- ½ pint whipping cream
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- 1 lb red-skinned potatoes, diced
Step 1 – Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté onion, both bell peppers, and garlic until tender, about 15 minutes.
Step 2 – Add broth potatoes, pepper, and cumin and bring to a boil.
Step 3 – Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Step 4 – Add corn, sausage, milk, and cream, and simmer another 20 minutes.
Chef tip: serve on a cold night with warm bread
Crowd Pleaser Chili a la Becca
Chili for When it’s Chilly
- 2lbs ground beef or ground venison, browned
- 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans of beans (chili or black beans or one of each)
- 1 can of corn or ½ bag of frozen corn
- 1 can dark beer
- Seasoning: 1 pack of chili seasoning or a lot of chili powder, cumin and garlic powder
- Toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar, tortilla chips
Step 1 (the only step) – Put all of the ingredients in the crock pot (except the toppings of course) and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.
Chef tip: you can brown the meat in the crock pot before adding the other ingredients… or you can use a regular pot for everything if you’re short on time.
Another chef tip: leftover chili? Add cream cheese, shredded cheddar and 2 pieces of American cheese and microwave until melted. Stir and VIOLA, chili cheese dip!
Double Header Soups a la Michelle (& sous chefs Jack and Drake)
Creamy Chicken Soup
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 6 cups water
- 8 pkgs instant chicken broth or bouillon cubes
- 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- 1 dash pepper
Step 1 – Melt butter in a soup pot. Cook onion until clear, not bown.
Step 2 – Blend in flour, stir in milk. Stir in water, add broth packets.
Step 3 – Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat.
Step 4 – Add chicken and pepper and return to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve immediately.
- 4 cups COOKED shredded or chopped chicken (rotisserie works great!)
- 42 oz chicken broth
- 14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes undrained
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 1/4 cup red pepper chopped
- 2 cups corn frozen
- 1 can black beans DRAINED
- avocado sliced
- Mexican cheese shredded
- tortilla chips or strips
Step 1 – Sauté onions
Step 2 – Add these ingredients to a 4 quart Dutch oven: chicken, tomatoes, red pepper, corn, black beans, and chicken broth.
Step 3 – Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 4 – Fill individual bowls with soup. Sprinkle with cheese, add avocado, sour cream, and tortilla chips.
Chef tip: make your life easy and use frozen veggies!
Pot Roast a la Ellen
Red Wine Pot Roast with Porcini
- 1 cup low-salt chicken broth or beef broth
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 4-pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 celery stalks with some leaves, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup dry red wine
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 300°F. Bring broth to simmer in saucepan. Remove from heat; add mushrooms, cover, and let stand until soft, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to cutting board. Chop coarsely. Reserve mushrooms and broth separately.
Step 2 – Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer beef to large plate.
Step 3 – Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from pot. Place pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
Step 4 – Add garlic, chopped marjoram, and reserved porcini mushrooms; sauté 1 minute. Using hands, crush tomatoes, 1 at a time, into pot. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot.
Step 5 – Add wine; boil 5 minutes. Add reserved mushroom broth, leaving any sediment behind. Boil another 5 minutes.
Step 6 – Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover; transfer to oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours. Turn beef and continue cooking until tender, about 1 1/2 hours longer.
Step 7 – Transfer beef to cutting board; tent with foil. Spoon fat from surface of juices in pot. Bring juices to boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 4 cups, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 8 – Cut beef into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer to platter. Spoon juices over, garnish with marjoram sprigs, and serve.
Chef tip: This can be made a few days ahead. Cool slightly after step 6, refrigerate uncovered until chilled, cover and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to heat and serve.
Another winter winner from Heather
The Harrison Version of Zuppa
- 32 oz chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5-6 russet potatoes
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- A bundle of fresh kale
- Salt and pepper
Step 1 – Brown the sausage, discard the grease, set aside
Step 2 – In the same pot bring chicken stock to a boil.
Step 3 – Slice potatoes about ¼ inch thick slices and put them in the stock until done. Reduce heat to simmer.
Step 4 – Add the coarsely chopped kale (we prefer larger pieces of kale), then the sausage and last the heavy cream.
Step 5 – Simmer until kale has cooked down but still has a bite to it and season to taste
Chef tip: don’t overcook the Kale, a little crunch makes it better for reheating the next day
Eating Good in the Neighborhood
Okay, now that you’re full and you’ve warmed your bones, you’re ready to take on the season.
Many thanks to the chefs for sharing their family favorites!
We’re always looking for new recipes… if you’d like to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll meet you in the kitchen… or at the dinner table!