December 6, 2018 at 3:45 p.m.

Warm you up, good for you too!

Warm you up, good for you too!
Warm you up, good for you too!

Millions of Americans, as well as in other countries, eat soup often. This staple has come a long way since the cavemen made the first-known broth-based meals dating back to 6000 B. C. Common ingredients at that time included the hippopotamus and other animal bones. Although they didn’t have modern cooking supplies, an animal carcass supplied the leak-proof pouch needed for cooking the soup. Don’t ask why the carcass didn’t catch fire while the soup was cooking! I’ll stick with a huge kettle or Dutch oven.  It is said the word “soup” most likely came from the Old English word “sop” meaning to soak up liquid or broth with a piece of bread. This reminds me of the traditional Swedish Christmas dinner called, “dop-eh-greeta” phonetically pronounced by Alice! Sorry about that my Swedish friends.

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Of course it’s recipes for soup….made in a kettle or Dutch oven!

HEARTY 
LASAGNA SOUP
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 c. diced onion
1 t. minced garlic                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1 – 32 oz. carton beef broth (about 4 cups)                       
1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 t. crushed Italian seasoning (not powdered)
1/4 t. dried parsley flakes (I prefer using 1 T. snipped, fresh parsley
1-1/2 c. uncooked mini lasagna noodle-shaped pasta (mafalda) or long mafalda, broken into pieces
3 T. grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. ricotta cheese and 1 T. chopped fresh basil, optional

Cook ground beef, onion and garlic in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until beef is well browned, stirring often. Pour off fat.  Stir in broth, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and parsley into ground beef mixture; stir in pasta and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium. Cook 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring a couple times. Stir in Parmesan cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, top each serving of soup with a dollop of ricotta cheese mixed with chopped fresh basil if you wish. Makes 4 servings.  Note: You can substitute same amount of small “bow-tie” pasta for the mini lasagna noodles.

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 This soup is almost like a meatless stew….thick and rich.

SOUTHWEST BLACK BEAN SOUP
1 medium sweet red pepper, diced
2 celery ribs, diced (about 1 c.)
1 small onion, diced (about 1/3 c.)
1 T. olive or canola oil
2-15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 – (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
1-(14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1-4 oz. can chopped green chilies
3/4 t. ground cumin
1-1/2 c. cooked instant brown rice
6 T. sour cream

In a 6-qt. saucepan, over medium heat, sauté pepper, celery and onion in oil until tender. Add beans, broth, tomatoes, chilies and cumin. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until thickened. Divide rice among 6 soup bowls; top with soup and a dollop of sour cream.  Makes 5-6 servings.

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QUICK 
CHEESEBURGER CHOWDER
1 lb. ground beef
2 c. cubed potatoes cut in 1/2-in. pieces
1/2 c. diced celery
1/4 c. diced onion
2 T. green pepper
1 T. beef bouillon granules
1-1/2 c. water
1/ 2 t. salt
2-1/2 c. milk, divided
3 T. flour
1 c. shredded medium cheddar cheese
Additional cheese and snipped chives, optional

 In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown ground beef, stirring constantly; drain off fat. Stir in next 7 ingredients, mixing well. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook 15-20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Combine 1/2 c. milk and flour in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until mixture is smooth. Stir into meat mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Slowly add rest of milk (2 c.) stirring constantly. Lower heat to medium; add cheese. Cook and stir just until cheese melts. Do not boil as the soup might curdle. When serving, top the soup with a sprinkling of cheese and chives if you wish.  Makes 6-8 servings.  Note: Heat the 2 c. milk in the microwave until just warm before adding to the mixture…..takes less time to thicken!

Thought for the Day: I read an article about eating chicken soup when you are struggling with a cold. I quote, “Mom was right. Doctors have long believed that drinking any hot liquid eases cold symptoms, but research has proved that hot chicken soup is especially beneficial. In a study of ways to clear up nasal mucus, doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center compared sipping chicken soup, hot water and cold water. The soup was the most effective. “Chicken soup has a decongestive effect,” says a Mount Sinai pulmonologist.” What to do?  Raise chickens!!

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