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When the weather turns blustery on a late winter’s day, what could be more warming that a hearty soup and sandwich?

Corey Nolta, chef at Caraway Cafe at Jorgensen Plaza, has shared a few of his favorite soup recipes. Roasted vegetables and heavy cream make the Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque taste rich and flavorful. Save time and bring home a rotisserie chicken for the Chicken Tortilla Soup, and if company’s coming, serve up your soup in individual Asiago cheese bread bowls.

He’s also put a salty and (a little) sweet twist on the classic grilled cheese sandwich. You’ll need some leftover pulled pork (or snag it at the grocery store!) to pull this one off.ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH BISQUE

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 onion, quartered

3/4 cup carrots, large dice

2 large butternut squashes, halved, peeled, seeded and cubed

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

Sour cream, garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss olive oil, butter, onion, carrots, squash, salt and pepper in large bowl. Roast in oven until squash is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

In small batches, puree roasted vegetables in blender. Pour into a heavy pot on the stove and stir in vegetable stock and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired, and a crusty French or Italian bread.

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ASIAGO CHEDDAR INDIVIDUAL BREAD BOWLS

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 to 3 cups flour

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 the warm water. Add the sugar, salt, 2 cups flour and remaining water. Beat on medium speed, with dough hook, for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes while slowly adding cheese and oregano. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 5 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place balls 3 inches apart on two greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Cut a thin slice off the top of each bread. Hollow out bottom of each bread, leaving a 1/4-inch shell (discard removed bread or save for another use). Return to oven for 5 minutes to toast bread bowl before filling with hot soup. Makes 5 bowls

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SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

1 pound cooked chicken, shredded

1 15-ounce can peeled tomatoes

1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce

1 white onion, diced

1 4-ounce can green chiles

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 10-ounce package frozen corn

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups water

1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cilantro, sour cream, tortilla strips

Mix together all ingredients in slow cooker and cover. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or HIGH 3 to 4 hours.

Serve topped with sour cream, tortilla strips and chopped cilantro. Serves 4 to 6.

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SWEET AND SALTY GRILLED CHEESE

Butter

2 slices white bread

2 slice sharp cheddar cheese

1 Granny Smith apple, sliced

1 tablespoon caramel ice cream topping

1/2 cup pulled pork

Spread butter evenly on 1 side of each bread slice. Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium. Assemble sandwiches while skillet heats: Buttered-side down, layer 1 cheese slice, followed by apple slices, caramel topping and pulled pork. Top with another slice of cheese. Top with remaining bread slice, buttered-side up.

Place sandwiches in heated skillet. Grill 2 to 3 minutes or until bread is golden brown and cheese begins to melt. Flip and cook until bottom is brown. Makes 1 serving.

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Arts/Special Sections Editor

Special Sections Editor for the Courier

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