Ah, January, or, as I like to call it, spandex month. It is that time of year when we face the dreaded scale and our thoughts turn to a new beginning and perhaps even New Years Resolutions. For most of the country, it is also a time when the weather can turn cold and nasty, and when that happens I always want comfort food. Pasta, soups, stews, all those warm stick-to-the-ribs type dishes.
One of my favorite January foods is my Chili Cheese Soup. It may become one of your favorites, too.
“Never Trust a Skinny Cook,” as it says on my apron, but you can eat my wonderful Chili Cheese Soup and keep to your healthy eating regimen, particularly if you watch carbs. How? Moderation in all things. Plus, it’s so rich that you will find just one small bowl to be amazingly satisfying.
January is a great month to focus on health. Build some new good habits, like portion control. If you make food that delights the eyes and the palate, it won’t take a large amount of it to make you happy.
This has been my year to make and freeze soups in quart bags and gallon bags. I use a magic marker to label each bag before filling it, then freeze the bags flat. There’s something very comforting about being able to look into the freezer and see a virtual library of soup, ready to thaw and heat for days when work keeps me out of the kitchen. The well-stocked freezer also makes it possible for me to entertain on an impromptu basis.
I hosted a soup exchange not long ago. I carefully chose friends who have major culinary skills. There were 8 of us in all. We were each to prepare a large batch of whatever soup was our “specialty” and freeze it in 8 gallon bags — one to keep and 7 to exchange. We got together to make the swap, each going home with a treasure trove of homemade chowders, soups, stews. Next time, we decided to each bring an extra bag so that we could have a tasting party. Try a soup exchange yourself!
Speaking of soup — here’s another one that will keep you warm during this cold month: Leek Soup. This is not only low carb, it’s also low fat. Yes, there is cream, but only an eensy teensy amount. Savor it slowly.