One of my greatest pleasures in winter is to slow down and enjoy a hot, savory meal. A bowl of soup is a delicious way to warm up those cold, crisp days. and are so easy to make.
(SEE RECIPES BELOW)

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ROBUST TOMATO SOUP
Ingredients:
-4 cups of tomatoes; peeled and diced
-4 cups of tomato juice
-12 basil leaves
-1 stick of unsalted butter
-1 cup of whipping cream
– salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:
-Add diced tomatoes and tomato juice to a large sauce pan and let simmer for about 30 minutes.
-Add basil leaves then pour mixture into blender and blend until smooth.
-Return to sauce pan and add butter and whipping cream.
-Reheat mixture in sauce pan and it is ready to serve.
-Salt and pepper to taste.

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SWEET POTATO & HOT PEPPER SOUP
Ingredients:
-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
-1 small red onion; chopped
-2 cloves of garlic
-1lb of sweet potatoes; peeled and cubed
-1 hot pepper (jalapeno or Serrano work well) pepper, seeded and diced
-4 cups chicken stock
-3 thyme sprigs
-salt and curry powder to taste

Directions:
-Heat olive oil in large stock pot.
-Add onion and garlic.
-Cook until onion in translucent and garlic is soft.
-Add sweet potatoes and hot pepper
-Saute mixture for 10 minutes
-Add chicken stock and thyme sprigs
-Bring to boil and then reduce the heat until the potatoes are tender
-Remove thyme springs and transfer soup to a blender and process until smooth.
-Return to pot and heat thoroughly.
-Add salt and curry powder to taste

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GARLIC LENTIL SOUP
Ingredients:
-2 1/3 cups dried lentils
-8 cups water
-7 chicken bouillon cubes
-2 yellow onions
-1 cup sliced mushrooms
-1 cup celery
-10 cloves garlic
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-pinch lemon pepper
-2 bay leaves

Directions:
-Start with 2 1/3 cups of dried lentils that have been soaked in water overnight.
-Then add about 8 cups of water and about 6 to 7 chicken bouillon cubes.
-Bring this to a slow boil for about 40 minutes.
-Prepare the saute while the lentils are cooking. This consists of 2 yellow onions chopped, about a cup of sliced mushrooms, a cup of celery, and a cup of garlic-about 10 cloves. To prepare the garlic, peel the skins from the cloves and crush them with the blade of a knife before adding them to the saute.
-Saute these ingredients with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil for 10 minutes at a medium heat. Once the onions are soft, add the entire mixture to the lentils.
-As a finishing touch, add some lemon pepper, salt and a couple of bay leaves.

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