As the temperatures drop below freezing, we both like to warm up our insides with delicious soups. They’re easy to make, healthy, and if you make a big pot and freeze it in small containers, it can last a long time.  Ellen loves to make soup and the fridge is always stocked with Jenna’s favorites when she comes home. Because Jenna rarely makes it herself, soup is one of the homemade staples that she looks forward to most!

This week, we share our favorite soup recipes:

This recipe is so easy and it’s my family’s favorite. Last time I made it, I added in some sweet potatoes that I had in the house. By the way, I don’t use any cream or milk and it’s still creamy, and I don’t add lemon juice because I prefer that it taste sweet. – Ellen

(Creamy) Carrot Soup

2 T. vegetable oil

1 Spanish onion, diced

6-8 carrots, peeled and sliced (2 bags baby carrots)

1-1/2 quarts chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

½-1 cup cream* (or milk or Half & Half)

2 T. fresh chopped chives

Pinch of lemon juice*

*optional

Saute the diced onion in a large soup pot and then add the carrots. Continue to saute until soft and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Add chives and puree with an immersion blender. Garnish with chives.

I made this soup for Thanksgiving one year, and it was a hit! Beware, though, the apples make it a bit tart so if you prefer a savory soup, this one might not be for you. -Ellen

Apple-Parsnip Soup

1 lb. parsnips, peeled and diced

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

6 shallots, diced

4 tart apples, peeled and diced

1 cup cider

8 cups vegetable broth

Salt to taste

White pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil and the butter in a heavy soup pot. Add the shallots, parsnips and apples and sauté for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are clear but not golden. Add the cider and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Then add the broth, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer slowly for 40 minutes. Add salt, white pepper and nutmeg.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Serve immediately.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my mother’s matzo ball recipe. I know I’m a little biased, but I think she made the best matzo balls around…light and airy! – Ellen

Matzo Balls

4 eggs

1/2 cup seltzer

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup Matzo Meal

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs with a fork for 30 to 60 seconds.
  2. Add seltzer and oil and beat together another 15 to 30 seconds.
  3. Add matzo meal and mix together until just combined; don’t over mix. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until firm.
  4. In a medium sized pot bring 3 quarts of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. With wet or well-oiled hands form matzo balls by gently rolling a spoonful of matzo ball batter to approximately 1-inch in diameter in the palm of your hands.
  6. Drop matzo balls carefully into simmering salt water one at a time. Cover the pot and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Ladle into soup bowls with chicken soup.