Recipes From the Garden: A Taste of the Season

Jan 2, 2022

If you're like me, you'll be serving up soup all winter long. These comforting soups are perfect for those long, chilly nights spent at home. Paired with a crusty loaf of bread and a salad filled with seasonal greens, dinner is done! The cheesy cauliflower soup is a quick fix and features another way to serve this all-star winter vegetable. Best part is you decide whether you prefer a smooth puree or prefer to leave it chunky country style.

Your new go-to tomato soup is loaded with golden onions and mini pasta that delivers a five-star rating. The best part is the grilled cheese croutons for a meal to remember.

Finally, the spicy black bean soup packs a punch. This vegan soup loads up on beans, veggies, and rice to fill up your crew. Garnish with sour cream, tortilla chips, avocado and cilantro; what a beautiful presentation. You decide which of these offerings becomes your new favorite bowl of comfort!

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup


3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

2 carrots julienned and cut into 1-inch strips (matchsticks)

2 shallots minced

4 cloves garlic minced

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

4 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 large head cauliflower or 2 small/medium heads, cut into florets

¾ cup heavy cream

1 cup grated cheddar or Colby Jack cheese



In a large stockpot set over medium-low heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the celery and sauté for 3 minutes. Then add the carrot, shallot and garlic. Sauté for two minutes. Add the flour. Whisk the flour until it turns golden brown, taking care not to burn. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, whisking continuously until combined. Turn heat up to medium and bring to a simmer. Add the salt, garlic powder, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper. Add the cauliflower, allow the soup to gently boil for 15 minutes, then remove 2 cups and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth and return the mixture to the soup. If you prefer a puree, use an immersion blender directly to the pot until silky smooth. Pour in the cream and continue to gently simmer for an additional 10 minutes, then add the cheese and whisk to combine. Remove from the heat and serve.

Serves 4-6

The Best Tomato Soup


3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium sweet onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ cup Acini di Pepe pasta or orzo

½ cup heavy cream

In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes and salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, add in the tiny pasta and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a very gentle simmer and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn off heat, cover the pot, and let rest for about 10 minutes (this will allow the pasta to plump up a bit more.)

Serves 6

Grilled Cheese Croutons

Place the cheese between the bread and butter the outsides. Put the bread, butter-side down, on preheated pan. Grill until golden, flip and grill the other side. Let cool slightly, then cut into cubes with a serrated knife and float in the soup.


Spicy Black Bean Soup



1 tbsp. olive oil

1 red onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds remove, minced

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. chiles in adobo

1 tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. garlic powder

3 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained

1 (15 oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes

3 cup V8 (or other brand vegetable juice)

32 oz. vegetable broth

1 cup uncooked rice

1 tbsp. sugar

Juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked pepper



Tortilla chips

Sliced avocado

Sour cream

Fresh chopped cilantro 

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes. Add jalapeno and garlic to the pot and cook for another minute, stirring frequently. Add chiles in adobo, cuminchili powdergarlic powderblack beans, corn, tomatoes, vegetable juicevegetable broth and rice. Stir everything together and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Be sure to stir every couple minutes to avoid sticking. Stir in sugar along with juice of 1 lime. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish as you like.

Serves 8