Mélange Meals

By Heather Shoning

NOTHING SAYS WINTER like a steaming bowl of soup

Photo By Shutterstock.com/ from my point of view

Cracking open a can of Campbell’s might do in a pinch, but making a hearty pot of homemade soup is the perfect way to warm up your family after a cold day of winter activities.

Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Corn Soup


1 tbsp. olive oil

1 leek, finely sliced

1 small brown onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 slices bacon, diced

2 chicken breasts, diced

14.5 oz. canned corn

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup cream

shallots, sliced for garnish


Heat oil in a large saucepan over gentle heat and cook leek, onion and garlic for 4 minutes until soft.

Increase heat and add bacon and chicken. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add corn, then pour in stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cream and return to a gentle simmer. Season well.

Serve garnished with sliced shallots.

Make it Colorado proud: Next year, buy extra Colorado sweet corn to freeze and replace the canned corn. You can have a sweet, warm-weather moment savoring that Olathe gold.

*Adapted from bestrecipes.com.au. 

Photo By Shutterstock.com/ Elena Veselova

Lasagna Soup



2 tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

½ cup dry white wine

14.5 oz. can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand

2 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

Pinch of red pepper flakes

6 lasagna noodles, broken into 1-inch pieces

4 cups baby spinach

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped 

Italian bread for serving


1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

¼ tsp. kosher salt

Black pepper, to taste


SOUP: Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Crumble in the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and onion and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced and syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and 3 cups water to the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the oregano, salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until just al dente, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the spinach and basil and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, if needed. 

RICOTTA DUMPLINGS: Stir together the ricotta, parmesan, basil, salt and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl.

Ladle the soup into bowls and dollop the ricotta dumplings on top (about 2 tablespoons per dumpling). Top with an extra sprinkle of grated parmesan and serve with bread.

Fancy it up: Use fresh pasta instead of dried—just add it when you add the spinach and basil, as fresh pasta only needs to cook a short time.

*Adapted from thepioneerwoman.com

Photo By Shutterstock.com/ carey jaman

Slow-Cooker Classic French Onion Soup


6 tbsp. butter

4 large yellow onions, sliced and separated into rings

1 tbsp. white sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup cooking sherry

7 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste

¼ tsp. dried thyme

1 bay leaf

8 slices of French bread

½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

⅓ cup shredded Emmental cheese

¼ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese


Heat butter in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook and stir until translucent, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle onions with sugar; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are soft and caramelized, at least 30 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir sherry into onion mixture; scrape the bottom to dissolve the small bits of browned food.

Transfer onions into a slow cooker and pour in beef broth. Season with sea salt; stir in thyme and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.

Preheat the oven broiler 10 minutes before serving. Set an oven rack about 8 inches from the heat source.

Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet; broil until toasted,
1 to 2 minutes per side.

Lightly toss Gruyere, Emmental, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses in a bowl. Fill oven-safe soup crocks ¾ full with onion soup and float a bread slice in each bowl. Top each with about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture.

Place filled bowls onto a baking sheet and broil until cheese topping is lightly browned and bubbling, about 2 minutes.

Make it a real timesaver: Cook onion and sherry mixture, then refrigerate. In the morning, simply toss it into the crockpot and follow the remaining instructions.

*Adapted from allrecipes.com