Time to Soup Up

There’s just something about this season that brings out the cravings for a warm spoonful of yumminess.  To satisfy your appetite for steaming sensations, why not build your soup-making skills with these three delicious varieties:

Garden Minestrone: This classic Italian loaded with vegetables such as tomatoes, corn, pealed acorn squash, carrots and Swiss chard.  Typically, a pot of garden minestrone is made with pasta for a hearty addition.

French Onion Soup: This simple soup is made with onions, broth, salt, butter, Parmesan cheese and a crusty slice of French bread on top.

Butternut squash: This rich creamy soup includes a medium butternut squash, two medium potatoes, a medium carrot, a stalk of celery, a small onion, two tablespoons of butter and low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth.

soup

Time to Soup Up

As the weather gets cooler, it’s time to fill up on warm hearty soups.  Homemade options can often be healthier, and tastier, than canned alternatives, but how do you get started?  Here are three common options for preparing the base of your soups and sauces this season: Produced by simmering vegetables, aromatics (like herbs) and bones, stock is the best go-to as a base for soups, stews and sauces.  Stock adds complex, robust flavor to any recipe it touches, despite having little or no salt.

Though less rich and flavorful, go for store-bought broth if you’re not ready to commit to hours in the kitchen.

Bouillon, a cube or granule form of dehydrated stock, is often processed with MSG, large amounts of sodium or other additives.  Use it only in a pinch.

Tomato Tortellini Soup

If you are around the Lincoln, Nebraska area you will probably know what I’m talking about when I say that Grisanti’s Tomato Tortellini Soup is like heaven in a bowl…okay maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it is really good.  If you’re wanting to try a creamy tomato soup this is the one for you and the best part is you’ll probably have leftovers! …Or maybe not because it’s so delicious.

Tomato Tortellini Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 package (9 ounces) cheese tortellini
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) reduced-sodium condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Additional shredded Parmesan cheese to top with, optional

Directions:

  • Cook tortellini according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the soup, broth, milk, cream,tomatoes and seasonings. Heat through, stirring frequently. Drain tortellini; carefully add to soup. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle each serving with additional cheese if desired.
  • Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2quarts).

Easy Clam Chowder

This recipe is crazy easy and super delicious!  My family often doubles this recipe because otherwise there’s not enough for seconds.  This clam chowder is perfect for this freezing winter we’ve been having in Nebraska.

Ingredients:

– 1 Can of Cream of Potato Soup

– 1 Can of Cream of Celery Soup

– 2 Cups of Half N Half

– 1 (large) can of clams

Directions: (Makes 4 Servings)

Set your stove top to medium-high and place a medium sized pot on that burner.  Combine all of the ingredients and stir till boiling.  Once it has started to boil you’re done and ready to serve.

Chicken Corn Chowder

I actually received this recipe as a crock pot recipe, but changed it to stove top because I don’t have a crock pot.  Also, vegan (soy) chicken was used instead of chicken and ham, because I am a vegetarian and it still turned out delicious.  This is a very thick and hearty soup.  Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 cups of Zucchini, chopped (or can sub 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped)
  • 1 Medium Red or Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Medium Jalapeno Pepper, minced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Thick Ham slice, cut into slivers 1/4 inch square, about 2 inches long (NOTE: could also use leftover turkey instead)
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 TBS Flour
  • Salt and Pepper, a couple of pinches
  • 1 Brick Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Cup Half and Half
  • 2 Cups Chicken from a Rotisserie Chicken, chopped
  • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn, be sure to partially thaw under running HOT water
  • To Taste Salt and Pepper (especially Pepper)

Cooking Directions (w/crock pot)

  1. This was a two stage Crock Pot dish… Took about 6 hours for everything to mix, melt and mingle correctly. 4 Hours for the base and another couple of hours for the guts to cook…
  2. In a large heavy bottomed frying pan, heat the Olive Oil, add the onions, zucchini and peppers and saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions soften and begin to turn translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes
  4. Move the vegetables to your crock pot and add the Chicken Stock
  5. Add 2 TBS Flour to help thicken the soup and stir to completely mix.
  6. Add the Ham slivers (NOTE: if using turkey add it in when you add the chicken)
  7. Turn Crock Pot up to high and allow everything to heat up for about 30 minutes. Then add the Cream cheese and stir to melt and mix
  8. Add the Half and Half, Season with Salt and Pepper,. Cover crock pot, lower to the medium setting and forget for 4 hours
  9. After 4 hours, add the chicken and Cheddar Cheese, stir, season again with Salt and Pepper, Cover and forget for 2 hours
  10. After 2 hours, add the thawed frozen corn, mix again, wait about 5 minutes for the corn to warm and serve
  11. Garnish with Oyster Crackers, season with Salt and Pepper to taste
  12. Serve HOT and enjoy!

Cooking Directions (on stove-top)

  • In a large soup pot, heat the Olive Oil, add the onions, zucchini and peppers and saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions soften and begin to turn translucent.
  • Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes
  • Then add the Chicken Stock
  • Add 2 TBS Flour to help thicken the soup and stir to completely mix about 5-10 minutes to let thicken and heat up.  Stove should be on med-high
  • Add the Ham slivers(/or turkey) and chicken, cooked and chopped
  • Add the thawed frozen corn, and mix
  • Allow everything to heat up, then add the Cream cheese and stir to melt and mix
  • Add the Half and Half, Season with Salt and Pepper
  • Once everything has been melted add the Cheddar Cheese, stir, season again with Salt and Pepper
  • After everything is stirred in and melted, garnish with Oyster Crackers (optional), season with Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Serve HOT and enjoy!