January is National Soup Month and celebrity chef and "Top Chef" judge Emeril Lagasse has partnered with Snapware containers to celebrate with a contest to win a trip to Orlando, Florida and also some fun fact and recipes about soup. Before partnering with Lagasse, Snapware conducted a series of surveys to find out America's tastes in soup and their preferences. Here are some of the interesting statistics from the survey:
- 44% of those surveyed believed that a hot cup of soup was the best way to warm up in winter, beating out cuddling at 25% and a warm bath at 12%
- Your grandmother's favorite cold remedy, chicken noodle soup, was voted by Americans as their favorite type of soup by a wide margin, getting 36% of the vote. Clam chowder was the second favorite soup, getting 19% of the vote.
- Chicken noodle soup was voted the best winter comfort food with a whopping 66% of the vote, beating out fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
- 39% of Americans prefer hearty, meaty soups to broth based ones.
Chef Emeril is also a big fan of soups, saying "Soup is an ideal meal for the winter months. It’s the ultimate comfort food and a great simple solution for weeknight meals,” said Lagasse. “I like to make a large batch of soup on the weekend and then store leftovers in my Snapware containers to eat later in the week. I don’t have to worry about spills or leaks with their leak-proof lids.”
Chef Emeril is sharing a number of his favorite soup recipes on the Snapware Facebook page. Here is one example, his recipe for Potato Soup with Bacon and Cheddar. Chef Emeril says about this recipe "You could almost call this “baked potato soup,” but I didn’t, since in that case you’d have to use your oven. Here you get all the flavors simmered away in your multi-cooker in just under an hour. This soup is hearty enough on its own, but you could easily stir in baby spinach at the end to boost it with another vegetable, or serve it alongside a salad and roast chicken. Or hey, even a steak."
Potato Soup with Bacon and Cheddar
4 strips bacon, diced
2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 2 medium onions)
¼ cup minced shallot (about 1 medium shallot)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 4 large cloves)
1 ½ pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks, submerged in a bowl of water
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks, submerged in a bowl of water
1 pound small Red Bliss potatoes, skin on, halved or quartered, submerged in a bowl of water
6 cups homemade chicken stock or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated, for garnish
1. Set a multi-cooker to the “steam” program, add the bacon, and cook for 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Stir in the onion, shallot, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes longer. Drain the potatoes and add them to the multi-cooker along with the chicken stock, salt, white pepper, and black pepper.
2. Close the lid and cook for about 50 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
3. Set the multi-cooker to “warm” and stir in the heavy cream and chives. Serve the soup in bowls, garnished with the cheddar and sprinkled with additional chives and black pepper as desired.
Yield: 6 servings
You can find all of Chef Emeril Lagasse's Snapware soup recipes here.