Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekly Binder Challenge Wrap-Up: Some Fall Soups

So far, so good on the Binder Challenge. For those of you just tuning in, I am weeding through a massive binder chock full of cooking and baking inspirations. Being an avid home cook and baker, I have found myself earmarking recipes every which way, but then never actually trying them. I prefer variety in my weekly meals, but it doesn't always happen, and I end up falling back on some of my favorites over and over again. Thus, the Challenge, and you get to hear about the successes and failures.

It's Fall, so why not dive into the toasty soup recipes I had stored away. First up, a fun Mexican Winter Chili from BHG, which the man immediately dubbed "his most favorite soup ever" without even trying it or seeing the finished product. The assembly smells that good! Cocoa powder, poblano peppers and pork combine with pumpkin and cream and broth into a filling, seasonal batch of warm goodness. I used an inexpensive boneless pork shoulder in lieu of stew meat.

Verdict: A Keeper. Except I am going to amend the recipe a bit over time -- less pumpkin, more broth, and more cocoa for a mole-appeal. The meat also might be great shredded up instead! It goes great with a dark bread to dip in, too.

Next up, a soup that is all cheesy and beer-based and not really quite as healthy haha. Horseradish Cheddar Beer Soup from Souper Jenny was featured in the AJC last year. The AJC's Living and Food sections usually have some easy weeknight meal ideas if you are looking for inspiration. Her instructions were a bit off for us home cooks -- you don't have to cook the garlic, then the flour, for five minutes each, or you risk burning the concoction before you ever get the beer and cheese in! If you don't have an immersion blender, use your food processor to get it blended up well.

Verdict: A Keeper. It won't be on my regular rotation, since I usually prefer my soups to be a bit lighter, but this one is awesome with dark bread (we used pumpernickel for both soups this week) on a cold, rainy day!