Soup’s on! January is National Soup Month

26/Jan/18 / 06:00

A warm bowl of soup on a chilly day can make all the difference – it’s comfort food at its best and can go the distance as it warms you up. From rich chowders to savory broths to creamy bisques, soup can run the gamut from a day-long simmer to a last-minute dinner. But one thing’s for certain, it will always hit the spot.
As January comes to a close, with its sporadic (and often times frigid) temperatures and shimmering snowflakes, soup should be what’s for dinner in honor of National Soup Month. What’s more, February 4 is Homemade Soup Day – we just can’t get enough of these soul-warming recipes to celebrate!

Easy Pasta Fagioli Soup


  • 2 Tablespoons oil or butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (other any other canned bean)
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes or other canned tomato with juice (if whole tomatoes, chop first)
  • 2 cans of Ravioli
  • Parmesan Cheese to Taste


  • Add oil or butter to a soup pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, carrot and celery until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the broth, beans and tomatoes to the vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Add the ravioli with sauce into the soup. Simmer for 3 more minutes or until ravioli is heated through.
  • Serve soup with Parmesan Cheese on top.

Sausage, Lentil and Barley Stew


  • 1 tablespoon oil or butter
  • 1 pound turkey smoked sausage, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 small or 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dried lentils
  • ½ cup quick cooking barley
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed


  • Add oil or butter to a soup pot over medium high heat. Add sausage and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion, celery and carrots and sauté until the onions turn clear, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Stir in the lentils and barley and add the broth and water. Add the salt and ground black pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach and serve.
  • Chef tip: Leave out the sausage and used vegetable broth to make this dish vegetarian!

Mexican Style Black Bean Soup


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon Adobo seasoning (such as Goya)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 40 ounces fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 14.5-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound cooked chicken, diced


  • Spray a large soup pot with cooking spray. Add oil and onion and sauté over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until clear.
  • Add Adobo seasoning, pepper, chicken broth, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, corn and black beans. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in chicken to heat through.
  • Bulk it up: Serve over cooked brown rice or barley!

Recipes provided by Jennifer Lamplough, Director of Nutrition Programs and Executive Chef, Northern Illinois Food Bank


How You Can Help:


  • Volunteer at one of our Centers in Geneva, Rockford or Park City sorting and packing food
  • Donate to help us solve hunger in your community – every $1 donated provides $8 worth of food.



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