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Dining In — Recipe of the Week: Foods for the winter-weary soul


The Lambertville-New Hope Winter Festival is almost here, bringing a festive air to the gray days of winter.

Like most festivals, it includes opportunities to eat, drink and be merry, in this case with foods designed to nourish the winter-weary soul.

Among the food-focused events is the Soup-A-Thon Cook-off, a perfect opportunity to escape cabin fever and taste a variety of hearty winter soups created by some of the area’s best chefs. The soups range from vegan to meaty to laden with seafood.

Scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday at the Lambertville House in Lambertville, N.J., the list of soups is long and enticing. Among them is Cream of Roasted Sweet Potato Soup, a family favorite of chef Michele Diaz-Ware, who runs Little Radish at the Ferry Market in New Hope.

Tuscan Winter Soup will be offered by the Mansion Inn in New Hope, while Jamie Hollander Gourmet Foods, also of New Hope, will be preparing Chicken Chili Verde made with locally raised chicken.

The Lambertville Station in Lambertville will offer Middle Eastern-flavored Roasted Root Vegetable Masala; Under the Moon Restaurant, also in Lambertville, will serve an old-fashioned New England clam chowder.

Lobster Bisque will be on the menu thanks to Havana in New Hope as well as from host restaurant Lambertville Station which will serve its signature LH Lobster Bisque.

Seafood lovers also can sample It’s Nutts on the Canal in Lambertville’s top-selling seafood chowder along with Haddock Chowder offered by the Salt House in New Hope.

Basil Bandwagon in Lambertville will make a Roasted Root Soup while the nearby Jess’s Juice Bar & Cafe will dish up Savory Lentil with Sweet Potato Soup.

Martine’s RiverHouse in New Hope will prepare Fennel and Housemade Pork Sausage with White Beans and Parmesan Broth, while the Great Barn Brewery will serve Winter Barley Soup.

Tickets are $25 and there will be a cash bar. To purchase tickets see

In the meantime, here is a hearty chowder recipe from designed to keep away the chill.

Winter Chowder

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ -inch pieces

½ cup chopped onion

1 cup water

¾ teaspoon onion salt or onion powder

½ teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 drops Louisiana-style hot sauce

½ cup cubed fully cooked ham (¼ -inch pieces)

1 cup fresh or frozen brussels sprouts, quartered (or other green vegetable)

1½ cups milk

¾ cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided

1. In a large saucepan, bring the potatoes, onion and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Do not drain. Mash potatoes (mixture will not be smooth). Stir in the onion salt, pepper, salt and hot sauce; set aside.

2. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté ham and brussels sprouts for 5 to 6 minutes or until sprouts are tender. Stir into the potato mixture. Add milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

3. Gradually stir in ½ cup cheese; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with remaining cheese.

Nutrition: 1 cup: 403 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 457mg sodium, 66g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 23g fiber), 33g protein.