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When the snow starts to fall, I yearn to fold myself into a blanket and wrap my hands around a hot bowl of soup. This is the time of year when I pull out the stockpot and start to make batch upon batch of soups and chilies. We have a large standing freezer in our garage and, each year, we fill it with family-sized portions of these comforting dishes to see us through the cold winter months. Broth-based soups tend to freeze the best, but that does not stop us from making fresh batches of chicken and corn chowder or creamy roasted mushroom soup.
Not only are most soups healthy and hearty, but they are relatively quick and easy to make. For broth soups, the formula is an easy one. Saute aromatics, such as onions, garlic, and shallots, in some olive oil. Add the protein (e.g., chicken) and other vegetables until almost cooked through. Then, pour in the broth and fresh herbs, and simmer until the flavors are blended, about 30 minutes. If you are adding pasta to the soup, do so in the last 10 minutes or so of cooking so that the noodles do not become overcooked and limp. It is easy to double, or even triple, soup recipes. Make extra portions so you can freeze and store them for easy, quick meals.
If you are looking for a quick breakfast meal, consider pulling that bowl out of the cupboard and filling it with high-fiber foods, such as oatmeal and cereal. Nothing can be easier or more satisfying in the morning than a bowlful of your favorite cereal, topped with fresh fruit and milk. Our personal favorites are Raisin Bran and Smart Start because they are high in fiber and nutrients, and low in sugar compared to many other cereals found on the supermarket shelves.
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