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5 loaves
Koehn Auto

WIld Mountain 12-8-13

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December 1, 2021

10/15/2021 10:11:00 AM
Soups for the perfect fall days

Fall is primetime for soup weather. The temps start to cool down (finally!) and it turns into sweatshirt and sweatpants weather. It’s when you want the comforting warmth of a nice creamy concoction or hot, brothy soup.

My knowledge of soup recipes growing up was what kind of cans we were picking up from the grocery store, but there really is an unlimited amount of variations you can use if you make your own soup. I’m more of a creamy soup guy, but every now and then, a good vegetable beef or chicken noodle or Italian Wedding soup hits the spot.
It’s taken a while for Mother Nature to catch up with the fact that we’re in fall, but with high temps in the 50s and 60s over the next few weeks, it’s time to pull out my favorite homemade soup recipes. Enjoy!

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Cheese, potatoes, milk, bacon. I mean need I say more? Plus, with broccoli in it, we could even lie to ourselves and say this is a healthy recipe!

1 tbsp. butter
1 medium yellow onion chopped
3 large white potatoes cubed, about 4 cups
4 c. chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 c. broccoli florets*
3 c. whole milk
3 c. shredded medium cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Bacon, optional

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened, stirring occasionally.

Add the cubed potatoes, chicken broth and the kosher salt and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a rolling simmer and cook the potatoes for about eight minutes or until soft and easily pierced with a fork.

Add the broccoli florets and the milk and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until the broccoli is al denté.

Toss the cheese with the flour and add to the soup one cup at a time, stirring until melted before adding the next batch of cheese. Season with black pepper and more salt to taste.

If you’re going to add bacon, you can fry it in a pan off to the side while the soup is cooking. Fry until crisp and then chop up and add in with the cheese. 

Two soup-making tips: When you’re making bacon to add into any soup, make sure you cook it pretty crisp before adding to the soup. I actually like my bacon in general to be softer and undercooked, but that texture in a soup makes it stringy and spongy. If you cook it to crisp, it adds another texture layer to the soup.

The second one is if you have the time, please buy a block of cheese and shred it by hand for the soup. It’s so much more creamy, melty, fresh and better tasting, especially when added into soup recipes. It makes for a much better consistency and taste in the soup.

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This is a longer one, but since I mentioned it in the opener, I should probably share a recipe. I learned how to make this soup when I was a cook at The Old Log Cabin in Scandia. I had never even heard of Italian Wedding soup before working there, and I was amazed the first bite I took. It also has some ingredients you won’t just have in the pantry, but I’m telling you, this soup is worth the grocery store trip and effort.

8 oz. lean ground beef
8 oz. ground pork
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh oregano
1/2 c. finely shredded parmesan
1 large egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 c. diced carrots
1 1/4 c. diced yellow onion
3/4 c. 1/4-inch diced celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 c. dry orzo pasta
6 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
Finely shredded parmesan, for serving

For the meatballs:
Add beef and pork to a large mixing bowl. Add in bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, parmesan, egg, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Gently toss and break up mixture with hands to evenly coat and distribute. Shape mixture into very small meatballs, about 3/4 inch to 1 inch and transfer to a large plate. (These aren’t the size of spaghetti meatballs, go smaller than that.)

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook until browned, turning occasionally (to brown on 2 or 3 sides), about four minutes total.

Transfer meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels while leaving oil in skillet. Repeat process with remaining meatballs (note that meatballs won't be cooked through at this point, they'll continue to cook through in the soup).

For the soup:
While meatballs are browning, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onions and celery and saute until veggies have softened about 6-8 minutes, add garlic and saute one minute longer.

Pour in chicken broth, season soup with salt and pepper to taste and bring mixture to a boil. Add in pasta and meatballs, reduce heat to light boil (about medium or medium-low).

Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender and meatballs have cooked through, about 10 minutes, while adding in spinach during the last minute of cooking. Serve warm, sprinkle each serving with parmesan cheese.

TFD: There is supposed to be some mean wind in the forecast coming up, so make sure you get out and enjoy these fall colors! There’s still plenty of brilliance left!

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WIld Mountain 12-8-13

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