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souper simple 3 quick and easy soups 
by Yee-Fan Sun
 | 1 2

Having finally polished off those Thanksgiving leftovers, I'm ready for some lighter, simpler meals -- well, at least until Christmas dinner rolls around that is. Much as I adore the gravy and stuffing and pies, I'm a little frightened when a quick glance at my recycling bin reveals that I've gone through more packages of butter in the last week alone than I have in the rest of the year combined. A big salad to get a healthy dose of greens, served up with a steaming hot bowl of soup to chase away the winter chills -- that's what hits the spot these days. And when I think soup, I'm talking the true-blue homemade version that makes your whole house smell good -- not that overly salty, heat-and-serve stuff that comes straight from the can.

Think a good soup means slaving over the stove all day? Think again. These three quick and easy soups can be thrown together and ready-to-eat in twenty minutes or less.

potato and corn chowder
Soup doesn't get much more basic than this -- but don't let the humble ingredients put you off. This soup never fails to satisfy.

1 medium onion
1 large russet potato
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 can whole kernel corn
milk or cream (optional)
olive oil

1 Peel and chop up the onion. Peel and cut the potato into small cubes.
2 Heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pot. Saute the onion until soft and aromatic. Stir in the potato, and cook for a few minutes, until the edges begin to turn translucent. Add in the chicken broth.
3 Cook for about 10 minutes, until the potato chunks are nice and soft. Blend up the soup until just smooth - I use a hand blender, but you can use a regular blender if you like (just puree in batches). If you want more texture in your soup, do a partial blend and leave some potato chunks intact.
4 Stir in the corn and cook the soup for another couple of minutes. Add plenty of salt and pepper to taste. (Or for a little extra heat, try a good shake of cayenne). For a creamier soup, stir in a good splash of cream or milk (optional). Ladle it up!

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