Warm up with soup

Tortilla soup is a popular option in trendy restaurants. (Submitted photo)

Tortilla soup is a popular option in trendy restaurants. (Submitted photo)

Commentary by Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

Cold weather seems to bring on our emotional need for hot soup. In the 19th century, Lewis Carroll, besides writing “Alice in Wonderland,” “Jabberwocky”  and other classics, was so driven by his love for soup that he wrote a poem about it. In his poem “Beautiful Soup,” he begins with, “Beautiful soup, so rich and green, Waiting in a hot tureen!”

Since one can look up hundreds of other written tributes to soup there must be a reason. Research shows that what you eat during cold game days can help you survive cold blasts. There are nutritious options — like soups that trick your body into thinking it’s July. Here are four easy cold-weather tailgate foods to leave you feeling your best— even when the weather is at its worst.

  • Deviled eggs — Their yokes contain vitamin D to replace lessened sunlight.
  • Almonds — As a munching snack their fat helps with skin lubrication.
  • Pretzels — A healthy high-carb snack during the game that increases your brain’s production of serotonin which makes you feel good.
  • Hot soup — Increases your body’s water intake and makes you feel warmer.

In today’s trendy sports bars and pubs, the rage is tortilla soup.  Here’s a great recipe for your tailgate:

Tortilla Soup


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion

4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth

1 cup roasted tomatoes with garlic, canned

1/2 red pepper, diced

1 can (14 ounces) green chilies, diced

1/2 lime, juiced

1 link Johnsonville Andouille Premium Cooking Sausage, diced (this is half of a 13.5 ounce package)

2 cups tortilla chips or corn chips, broken

Chopped cilantro and green onion for topping


The night before the game, use a large saucepan to heat oil over medium to high heat. Add onion, red pepper, sausage and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, salt, chilies and lime juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow the soup to cool outside on your deck or balcony so that you can refrigerate it overnight.

On game day reheat the soup and pack it into a Coleman Powerchill hot/cold thermoelectric cooler for transport to the game. Another option is to place the soup pot onto a towel in a room temperature insulated cooler.  Cover the pot with more towels to keep it warm during your drive to the game. As you ladle the soup into bowls or mugs, top each with tortilla chips and serve with cilantro and green onion.