January is National Soup Month, and that means it’s time to fish out your pots and pans and get cooking. To help you get started, we’ve outlined some amazing soups and stews that the Pacific Northwest region is known for. While it can be difficult to track the origin of one specific recipe, we’ve highlighted some classic dishes, as well as a few that work exceptionally well with our local seafood, produce, and fresh dairy products. So after you’ve spent an adventurous weekend exploring the great upper left coast, it’s time to put on that apron and get your soup on!
1. Clam Chowder
Oregon and Washington are known for having amazing razor clams. While they might not be a seafood you eat regularly, they’re perfect for clam chowder! This chowder recipe is best when made with fresh seafood, so check out the regulations on recreational clamming and hit the beaches at the right time. Potatoes and bacon make any chowder a crowd pleaser, and this dish is sure to make the whole family happy.
2. Whiskey crab soup
Another specialty from the Pacific Northwest is Dungeness crab. Winter is prime crab season in our region, and it sure does make an amazing soup. Celebrate National Soup Month with a little extra fun by whipping up some whiskey crab soup. Packed with local vegetables and fresh crab, the whiskey in this dish gives it a little something special. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself!
3. Oregon beer cheese soup
Oregon makes great beer, so why not cook with it? Grab a delicious pilsner and some locally made Tillamook cheese, and you can throw together an easy and delicious pot of beer cheese soup. Don’t forget to pair it with some crusty bread or crispy croutons. Now you can drink your favorite beer while eating it, too!
4. Butternut squash and red lentil soup
If you’re looking for something more rustic, this squash and lentil soup is your best bet. This vegan dish is rich and creamy and packed with tons of plant protein. Easy to make with a short ingredient list, it’s perfect for dinner parties or to enjoy on your own after a weekend adventure. And don’t forget to garnish it with a few pine nuts or sunflower seeds.
5. Hearty vegetable stew
The Pacific Northwest has lush farmland, and farmers markets are popping up across the region almost every day of the week! Having great local ingredients on hand makes this vegetable stew especially easy and delicious. Grab the veggies you love best, and follow this simple recipe to turn it into something any chef would be proud of. Bon appétit!
6. Warming broccoli and tofu soup
What’s more Pacific Northwest than a vegan soup? While this dish has flavors not traditionally indicative of our region, its spirit is pure Pacific Northwest! Vegetable-heavy and full of nutrients, this innovative warming broccoli and tofu soup not only tastes delicious — it’s good for you, too. Do yourself a favor and make a batch today.
7. Cream of wild mushroom soup
Looking for something even more hearty? This wild mushroom soup is just the ticket. While this comforting dish is rich and filling, this specific recipe puts a healthy twist on an old classic by reducing the sodium content. It’s also simple enough to appeal to kids, while still packing a flavorful punch everyone can enjoy. After you try this soup, you’ll be saying goodbye to canned cream of anything.
8. Oregon beef-fruit stew
While it’s an unlikely combination of flavors, this hidden gem of a soup embodies the spirit of the Pacific Northwest! Bring your sense of adventure to the kitchen by adding fresh fruit to the mix, along with the dried apricots, apples, peaches, and cherries. A little innovation can take this Oregon beef-fruit stew to the next level.
9. Football tailgate chili
While we can’t officially support one team over another, this delightful chili is sure to spice up any tailgate party — no matter what colors your wear. Full of flavor and easy to make, you can change the spiciness in this soup by increasing or decreasing the amount of peppers you add. Even if you’re not going to the actual game, this chili is perfect for enjoying at home while you cheer on your team.
10. Oyster stew
After that varied and exciting list of soups and chowders, we’ll wrap up our list with a hearty and delicious oyster stew. Again, Oregon and Washington are known for amazing and fresh seafood, so this recipe is especially good when prepared with local, fresh ingredients. The shallots, oysters, and cream give this stew a rich flavor, perfect for enjoying on a rainy, blustery day at the coast.
With all these soups to consider, which one will you choose to celebrate National Soup Month with? Whether you’re out clamming for your chowder or eating chili at a tailgate party in the rain, don’t forget to find a secure spot in Oregon or Washington to safely store your Pacific Northwest gear.