All it takes is a couple days of cooler weather and I’m looking for hearty soup recipes! How about you?

Broccoli Cheese Chowder

1 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces broccoli crowns, cut into 1-inch pieces, stems and florets separated
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion and celery soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, dry mustard and cayenne; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

Add broth and broccoli stems; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in florets; simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes more. Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a bowl and mash; return to the pan.

Stir in Cheddar and sour cream; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the chowder is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Hawaiian New Year’s Chili

1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage, hot or mild, casings removed
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 bell peppers, whatever color you have, chopped
1 package sliced mushrooms, leave out if you don’t like them or dice them up to hide them (KOD: due to an allergy, I omitted)
2 Tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 cup red wine
2 cans diced tomatoes, juice and all
1 can white beans (cannellini or great northern), drained and rinsed
1 can tomato paste
2 tsp. chopped parsley (fresh or dried)
1 Tbs. sugar, or more if needed
Cooked short grain rice for serving

Brown ground meat and sausage in a large pot until thoroughly cooked. Remove from pan and drain off fat (if using crock pot, drain and put in there). Add olive oil to pan. add onion and shallot. Cook 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, peppers and mushrooms. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes until mushrooms begin to shrink and soften. Stir in spices until the vegetables are coated. Deglaze pan with wine and allow to reduce for a few minutes.

Add tomatoes, beans and tomato paste and meat to pot. Add water if needed, just enough to stir mixture if too thick.
Simmer 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally, or 8-12 hours on low in crock pot. Check seasoning, and adjust to taste. Add parsley just before serving. Stir, taste and add sugar as you see fit to counteract acid.

Serve over steamed rice.