Winter Minestrone with Sausage, Kale, and Basil Pistou

Winter minestrone with sausage, kale, and basil pistou is guaranteed to become one of your family's favorite soups!

We’re having a January cold spell, and right now the temperature outside is a whopping 6 degrees. Which means my family wants nothing but soup for dinner. One of our all-time favorites is this winter minestrone with sausage, kale, and basil pistou. It’s packed with bold flavor and healthy veggies.

This red, green and white soup is a Christmas Eve tradition in our family, so sometimes I call it “Christmas minestrone.” We usually don’t have a heavy dinner Christmas Eve, because we’ve already stuffed ourselves at an annual family party during the day. After celebrating with a million and one relatives, we go home, make some minestrone, and play board games until it’s time to hang our stockings.

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30-Minute Chicken Chili

Make this warm, spicy and satisfying chicken chili in only 30 minutes.

I’m always looking for recipes that are simple, tasty and healthy, and this 30-Minute Chicken Chili is all of those things. It’s spicy and satisfying, and it cooks up quickly with just a few staple ingredients. My family loves my Smoky Chipotle Turkey Chili recipe, but this chicken chili is lighter and less expensive to make. It’s more of a broth-based soup than a meaty chili.

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10-Minute Wonton Soup

Make this light, satisfying 10-minute wonton soup in less time than it takes to get through the line at the drive-through.

I’m used to cooking for a crowd, but this week everyone has gone out of town except me and my teenage daughter. With just two women in the house, I’ve been making easy, light meals like this 10-minute wonton soup. It’s another “Coscto hack” recipe that you can throw together in less time than it takes to get through the line at the drive-through. Cooking from scratch is something I love to do, but sometimes circumstances call for something ultra-easy.

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Easy Green Posole

Easy Green Posole is a hearty but fresh-tasting soup flavored with green chiles and tomatillos.

Everybody likes a dish they can customize, and that might be one of the reasons Mexican posole is trending in California and other parts of the U.S. Posole is certainly not new, but it seems to be gaining in popularity. Like Vietnamese pho, posole is a flavorful soup that individual diners top with fresh vegetables at the table. There are green chile and red chile versions of posole, usually made with chicken or pork.

This easy green posole recipe is made with fresh chiles and tomatillos, so it’s not as quick as my red posole, which gets its chile flavor from canned enchilada sauce. I still call it easy, though, especially because you can cook it hands-free using an electric pressure cooker or crock-pot. This recipe makes a big batch of soup, so you can freeze some of it in small containers for individual meals, or freeze half to serve for dinner later on a night you don’t have time to cook.

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Easy Red Posole for the Pressure Cooker or Crock-Pot

Easy red posole for the pressure cooker or crock pot is tasty plain or topped with radishes, avocado or cilantro.

I’ve been using a pressure cooker for years – the old-fashioned kind with a rattly weight that sits on the top and a 1950s-looking pressure gauge. I love it for its ability to make food taste like it’s been cooking for hours, even when it’s only been cooking for 30 minutes or so. This past Christmas, I got a fancy electric pressure cooker, and it’s my favorite new toy. So far, I’ve mostly used the electric pressure cooker to make soup, including this easy red posole.

Posole (or pozole) is a classic Mexican soup or stew of meat, vegetables, chiles and hominy. If you’re not familiar with hominy, it’s big kernels of corn that have the outer husk removed. Hominy doesn’t taste like sweet corn, but more like the maize used to make tortillas or tortilla chips.

There are red versions of posole, usually made with pork, and green versions, usually made with chicken. Diners add fresh toppings – often sliced radishes, cabbage, diced onion, avocado, fresh cilantro or lime wedges – to their bowls of hot soup. 


Traditional posole recipes involve soaking dried hominy and dried chiles, and stewing bony cuts of pork. This quick and easy version uses canned hominy and boneless pork loin, and it gets much of its flavor from a can of enchilada sauce. Pressure cooking makes this soup taste like it’s been simmering for hours. If you prefer, you can get the same effect from a slow cooker.

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One Pot Tortellini and Tomato Soup

One Pot Tortellini and Tomato Soup - comforting and hearty, but still quick and easy; a perfect weeknight dinner for cold winter nights.

I absolutely love when I can take a tried-and-true recipe and transform it into something new, so my favorite tomato soup recipe has now become One Pot Tortellini and Tomato Soup. It’s an adaptation of my Crock-Pot Tomato Soup recipe with just a few changes that make a big difference. 

One Pot Tomato and Tortellini Soup - comforting and hearty, but still quick and easy; a perfect weeknight dinner for cold winter nights.

The biggest change: tortellini, of course. There is something about adding pasta to tomato soup that makes it so comforting and extra delicious. My mom likes to add orzo to her tomato soup (yum), and in my house we are big tortellini fans. It’s so cheesy and hearty, and I always like to have a package in my freezer ready for cold winter nights when I’m short on time.

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Smoky Chipotle Turkey Chili

This warm, spicy and satisfying turkey chili is high in protein, low in fat, and packed full of yummy veggies.

Anyone who cooks for a family knows that a recipe everybody likes is a find. Whatever you decide to make, there’s usually at least one person who refuses to eat it. For our family, this smoky chipotle turkey chili is an exception. It’s a favorite with everyone, and it’s become a family tradition. We serve it even on special occasions, like Sunday dinner and birthdays. When my college-age daughters moved out of the house, it wasn’t long before they called home and asked for the recipe.

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