Saturday, September 20, 2014

Leader Enterprise - Sept. 17, 2014 - Soups




Fall is falling quickly. My dear hubby and I visited friends in Tennessee two weeks ago and were surprised to see they were already picking corn! Autumn is my favorite season. Be sure to take time to visit an apple orchard or do something fun outdoors before the cold sets in. And while you're outside, how about cooking some soup to warm you up when you go back inside?
Soup is an important mainstay in the everyday diet of most cultures. It was probably one of the earliest cooked preparations because it could be made with just about anything (including leftovers from the day before) and could be extended greatly simply by adding more liquid. Where food is scarce,soup is a staple: The moral of the"Stone Soup" fable is that soup can be made from nothing at all but stones, water, and generosity.

I grew up on soup. It's frugal, yet can be very healthy because it normally has added veggies. Soup often graced our table when growing up on our Kunkle farm. So when I got married, I didn't make soup for years. I was tired of it. Truth is, I didn't even know how. It took my experience of spending a month in a Denver military hospital recovering from 2 surgeries to remove a benign brain tumor,twenty years after our wedding,for me to develop a love for soup once again.Because my body was traumatized, I lost my appetite and lost 19# in that month's stay. My mouth would water watching tv soup commercials,thinking how I couldn't wait to get home and make some soup! Oh the little things that impact our lives in big ways!

I'm very pleased to share with you these favorite tried and true recipes that we enjoy. Trust they'll warm your tummies on these cooler days. 
Dinner doesn’t have to be perfect or elaborate. A simple meal with your family is a weeknight gift. Enjoy it! Something I try to do on a regular basis, is cook chicken and beef for the freezer, so when I need a fast meal, it's ready to be added. I also keep chopped onions, celery and carrots in the freezer. It's a timesaver.

 
CHICKEN & CORN CHOWDER 

2 Tb. butter
3 Tb. flour
3 - 4 c. (low sodium) chicken broth
(or a 32 ozs. container) 
1 tsp.chicken soup base (or 2 bouillon cubes), optional
(omit salt when adding soup base)
1/2 c.onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
2 c. potatoes, peeled,cubed
2-1/2 c. frozen yellow corn
2 c. cooked chicken, diced
6 or 7 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled, divided
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. (or more) minced garlic 
salt to taste, optional
1 c. milk
1 c. 1/2 & 1/2
cubed Velveeta, optional

In large Dutch oven, melt butter; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook until mixture is light brown in color. Add broth, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn, chicken, half the bacon, spices and milk. Heat just until ready to boil. 

Reduce temperature and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir now and then to avoid sticking. When veggies are cooked tender, reduce heat to warm; stir in 1/2 & 1/2; blend well. If adding Velveeta, add now and heat until melted. Serve soup with crumbled bacon and a little shredded cheddar cheese for garnish. Yield: about 8 servings 

This simply delicious simple recipe is in my second cookbook, shared with me by a good friend who often serves this to company. 
CHEESEY HAMBURGER SOUP 

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tb. minced garlic
1 (10.75 ozs) can tomato soup
1 (soup) can water
2 (14 ozs) cans beef broth
(about 2-1/2 cups)
1 sm. can corn, undrained
1 c. black or pinto beans, optional
1 c. uncooked pasta twists
4 - 6 ozs. Velveeta cheese, chunked, optional


In a large skillet, brown ground beef with the onion and garlic. Season with salt & pepper; drain grease. In dutch oven, combine tomato soup, water, broth and corn (and/or beans). Add ground beef mixture and stir to combine. Heat just until it begins to boil, then add pasta. Cover pot and cook until pasta is just done (or el dente). Add Velveeta and heat on low until melted. Serve with a sandwich or salad, or even crackers and cheese, and you are ready to enjoy a great meal.

BLACK & WHITE BEAN CHILI

3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 (48 ozs) jar great northern beans
2 (16 ozs.each) jars black bean and corn salsa
2 c. (16 ozs) shredded cheddar cheese

Heat first 3 ingredients together until hot, then add cheese. Stir until melted. Serve hot alongside tortilla chips, cornbread, or a grilled cheese sandwich.

If you're looking for more pumpkin, apple, or squash recipes, please check out my blog. Use the search engine at top left corner. www.thebetterbaker.blogspot.com