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Cozy Winter Soups: Three Recipes from Your Indoor Herb Garden

On a chilly day, soups are a quick, easy and healthy meal. Whether you’ve just come home from work or are cozying up on a Sunday afternoon, soups are a one-pot stop for a delicious meal. Better yet, adding fresh herbs from your indoor herb garden will add a freshness and flavor that’s sure to please!

Here are three bowls of comfort, guaranteed to warm you up:

Rosemary White Bean Soup
This soup’s tasty ingredients, especially the warm and flavorful rosemary, are ideal for a winter day. And its delightful creaminess comes without the guilt of actual cream!

Yield: Six Servings

INGREDIENTS
4 15 oz. cans of white Cannellini beans
3 yellow onions, diced
¼ cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ large branches fresh rosemary
2 quarts chicken stock (unsalted)
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Red-Chile oil (optional) 

DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, drain and slightly rinse beans. Set aside.
Heat a large stockpot over low to medium heat.
Sauté the onions with olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes.
Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf.
Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft.
Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf.
Place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed.
Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
This soups hint of spiciness will certainly heat up your fingers and toes! When making this soup, be sure to pick up fire roasted tomatoes. At your grocery store, Muir Glen (a brand of canned tomatoes) offers Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes that have great flavor, but any brand will do!

Yield: Six Servings

INGREDIENTS
2 28 oz. cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, halved
¼ cup olive oil
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 medium yellow onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 Sprigs of Basil
4 Sprigs of Thyme
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

DIRECTIONS
Heat a large stockpot over low to medium heat.
Add the onions and sauté until they start to turn translucent.
Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
Add the canned roasted tomatoes, red pepper flakes, canned tomatoes with their juice, and chicken or vegetable stock.
Add the fresh basil and thyme by making a bouquet garni (tying the sprigs together with cotton string or twine).
Add the salt and pepper.
Bring all of the ingredients to a boil and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
Remove bouquet garni and puree in batches in a blender or food processor, not quite smooth.
Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste.

Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili
This soup is very savory, and the depths of flavor are enhanced by fresh thyme sprigs. To make this an even hardier soup, you may add shredded chicken (Buying a roasted chicken from your grocery store is an easy and inexpensive option!). 

Yields: Six Servings

INGREDIENTS
¾ cup uncooked quinoa
4 16 oz. cans black beans, drained
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 large yellow or red onion, diced
1 large yellow pepper, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 sprigs of Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large stockpot over low to medium heat.
Add all ingredients together to the stockpot
Add the fresh thyme sprigs by making a bouquet garni (tying the sprigs together with cotton string or twine).
Cook 4 hours in oven.
Remove bouquet garni and serve. 

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