Wisconsinites know that winter is almost upon us and we respond accordingly by pulling out our stash of warming comfort food recipes and getting things simmering on the stovetop. Here’s a list of our top three favorite winter soups. While we certainly aren’t going to dissuade you from ordering a ham or turkey just to try one of these soup recipes, a route you might want to go is order one of our Applewood Smoked Hams or Turkey Breasts for the holidays and then try your hand at making a soup recipe or two with the leftovers – if there are any.
Smoked Ham & Potato Soup (Recipe Here)
We adore dairy products and take nearly every opportunity to use our home state’s bounty of good milk and cheese. We really enjoy this soup for how hearty, simple, and satiating it is; everything we look for in a soup for the chilly winter months. We use Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese (Hook’s is a good one!), fresh butter, diced potatoes, smoky ham and green onions. This soup only takes about a half an hour to get on the table, so you can whip this recipe up after work, with no trouble.
Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon (Recipe Here)
Squash are like zucchini in that if you have a gardener in your life they’ve planted either of these bountiful veggies, you’re likely to get some of the overflow. We always seem to have an employee or two who bring in their surplus vegetables to share and we all get to reap the benefits of their skill in the garden. The flavors in this soup are savory and sweet with a touch of spice that comes from the addition of ginger and fresh pepper. When you taste the first warm spoonful of this soup, you taste autumn. We top this pretty-colored soup with crumbled pieces of our smoked bacon and drizzle each bowl with crème fraiche. Serve this one to start out a holiday meal!
Smoked Turkey Vegetable Soup (Recipe Here)
This soup might look like it’s just about ALL veggies (and it certainly has a healthy amount) but we promise that we didn’t forget the meat. It fits the bill if you’re looking for something with some extra redeeming nutritional value and it tastes really rich and smoky, thanks to the smoked turkey involved. If you have other vegetables that you want to use up, besides the kinds suggested in our recipe, like corn, cannellini beans, squash, or tomatoes, this is the place to put them. And since, after all, this is America’s Dairyland, we sprinkle some Romano Cheese on top before serving. You could also use some of the fine cheese from our well-known Wisconsin neighbors, Sartori. For this soup, we like their Black Pepper or Merlot BellaVitano.
Serve all of these soups with some great, crusty bread. We know it’s not polite to dunk, but some things are just meant to be. If you’re not into baking your own bread and you’re not within reasonable range of a good bakery, we have you covered with Peppered Bacon Farm Bread from our friends at Zingerman’s Bakehouse.
If you’d like to peruse all of our smoky soup recipes, you can check them out here.