Well, it may technically be Spring, but the weather sure isn’t ‘spring-like’ yet!  Here in Western New York, we still have a few more weeks (OK, maybe even a month…) to savor the foods that truly warm our bones before it’s time to put away the soup pot for summer.  I included many of my favorites, and don’t miss the THIRTY-TWO chilis Cooking Light has deemed ‘the best.’  All have nutritional information provided and there is something for everyone: vegetarian three-bean, turkey, white chicken chili and even beef and butternut squash.  And don’t forget the bread–recipe below!

For vegetable-lovers:

Barefoot Contessa’s Ribollita

Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup

For those who like it creamy:

Ellie’s Krieger’s Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

New England Clam Chowder

For traditionalists:

True French Onion Soup

Creamy Tomato Soup

Soups with a kick:

Ellie Krieger’s Nutty Sweet Potato Soup

Shape Magazine’s Spicy Chorizo Corn Chowder

Bring on the chili:

Cooking Light’s Top 32 (!!!) Chili Recipes

White Chicken Chili with Quick-Roasted Garlic

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

I swear by this bread.  Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day will change your life.  (Or at least your bread-baking technique.)  Seriously.  If you have any interest AT ALL in making bread, go buy their cookbooks.  NOW.  Basically, Jeff and Zoe teach you how to make awesome bread at home in almost no time at all.  I’m living proof that it works; these breads are pretty much the only ones of mine I know will turn out perfectly each time.  In fact, I was shocked I could even find the recipe online at all.  I probably whip up a loaf once a week and spend about 15 total minutes doing it–ten to mix all the ingredients and five to shape my loaf.  Makes a great accompaniment to any soup, stew or chili!

Click above for the recipe, step-by-step instructions (with photos!) and their tips and techniques.


Holly R. Layer received a B. A. in Journalism from Penn State and served four years in the U. S. Air Force before deciding to go back to school to become a Registered Dietician.  She loves running, reading, fine stationery, colorful kitchen gadgets and ALL things food-related.  An avid cook and baker, you can find her in the kitchen most days whipping up something yummy.  Too bad her husband, Andrew (an East Aurora native) is the pickiest man alive!  You can find her at www.thefrozenpineapple.com.