January 6, 2011 at 8:39 a.m.

That time of year for soups and stews

That time of year for soups and stews
That time of year for soups and stews

You know what? It is absolutely soup, stew and casserole weather. My mom would make the most nutritious and best tasting soups ever. Chicken noodle, (using our own chickens), with homemade noodles and vegetable soup with vegetables grown in our garden along with homemade bread were a family staple. Shredded cabbage was often used in some of the soups, along with macaroni. Cream soups, made with whole milk was one of her specialties, and mine as well. I guess I don't fall far from the tree. One of our friends used to say, "We were so poor we ate wiener-water soup". Now, that would be great if carrots, onion and potatoes were added, wouldn't it. Well, it's soups today.

CHICKEN CHOWDER

4 slices bacon

1 onion, finely chopped

1-1/2 c. diced potatoes

1/2 c. corn

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced

1-1/2 c. chicken broth (can used canned brother or 2 bouillon cubes and 1 1/2 c. water)

1 c. cooked, diced chicken (can use turkey)

1/4 t. ground sage

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. cream or evaporated milk (I use 1% milk and add powdered milk to it)

Saute bacon in large saucepan over medium heat until partially cooked, not crisp. Add onion. Saute for 5 minutes or until softened. Add celery, potatoes, corn and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken. Cook 5 minutes; season with sage and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream; DON'T BOIL, or it will curdle, just heat until hot.

Makes 4-5 servings.

+++++

CREAMED CABBAGE SOUP

2 (14-1/2 oz.) cans chicken broth (or make 2 c. broth using 2 t. or 2 cubes chicken bouillon as directed)

2 ribs celery, diced

1 medium head cabbage, (about 3 lbs.,)

1 medium onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1/4 c. butter or margarine

3 T. flour

1/2 t. salt

few dashes pepper

3 c. half and half cream or whole milk

2 c. diced ham

1/2 t. thyme leaves

1 T. snipped fresh parsley or 1/2 t. dried parsley flakes

In a large kettle or Dutch oven, combine first 5 ingredients; bring to a boil. Lower heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour, salt and pepper; stir to form a smooth paste. Gradually add cream to flour mixture, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened; continue cooking for 1 minute longer. Gradually stir into veggie mixture. Add ham, thyme and parsley, heat through, but DON'T BOIL.

Makes 8-10 servings.

+++++

QUICK AND EASY BEAN AND SAUSAGE SOUP

1-24 oz. can vegetable juice cocktail (V-8)

1-15 oz. can chili beans, undrained

2 c. frozen loose-pack hash brown potatoes with onions and peppers

8 oz. Polish sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, combine first 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil; lower heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and mixture is heated though. Sprinkle each serving with a little cheese.

Makes 5-6 servings.

+++++

HAMBURGER AND

VEGETABLE SOUP

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

1 - 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (or 2 c. home canned tomatoes)

2 beef-flavored bouillon cubes, or 2 t. granules

1/2 t. salt

1 bay leaf

1 t. Worcestershire sauce

4 c. water

1/2 t. pepper

1 c. uncooked medium egg noodles

1/2 t. dried thyme leaves

3/4 c. sliced celery

1-10 oz. package frozen mixed veggies

Cook beef and onion over medium heat until brown. Drain, discard pan drippings. Add next 7 ingredients. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add rest of ingredients; bring to a boil; simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes 6-8 servings.

TFD: All kinds of social graces are useful, but one of the best is the ability to yawn with your mouth closed. What a talent, huh! If I can do it, you can do it. It comes in handy when you're tired of listening to someone talk forever!

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