Friday, May 9, 2008

It's a soupy day

It's a soupy day - literally!

One of my favorite meals to prepare is soup - especially on a chilly, damp day. Today it's 45 degrees and (soupy) rainy outside, which is good for the veggies I just planted, but not so good for arthritic bones...LOL!

So I have a wonderful pot of veggie-beef soup simmering on the stove. Over the years, I've gotten pretty good at soup, though I really don't know how you can mess that up????? When the garden is at its height, I do try to use all fresh stuff, but in the winter and spring I use whatever I can find and supplement with canned or frozen veggies.

Veggie Soup

All I do is cube up a small beef roast - about 2-3 pounds and brown it in my electric roaster. Yup! when I make soup, I make SOUP - the bigger the pot, the better. Once the meat is browned, I add my fresh veggies and enough water to cover them so they'll cook. For the fresh ones today I used potatoes, onions, celery, carrots and cabbage.

I let the fresh ingredients simmer for an hour so they cook before adding the rest of the ingredients. This week, I used canned veggies because I had a lot of them on hand - corn, peas, green beans, butter beans and diced tomatoes. I love a thick hearty soup so I don't add a lot of liquid. I spice it up with parsley, oregano, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and bouillon cubes to taste. Let it simmer for awhile longer until all the flavors mingle and boy is it good.
We'll have a loaf of fresh French bread to go with it.

The best part is that we'll have leftovers for several meals and it can be frozen in meal sized containers for later.***My husband likes to have meals at church so the members can fellowship and get to know one another better. - the soup and sandwich pot luck seems to be his favorite.

My favorite soup to make for pot luck is a wonderful thick potato chowder.

Potato Chowder

I dice about 6-8 medium potatoes in a large pot and add celery, onions, shredded carrots, broccoli florets and a slice of ham cubed. For seasoning, I use garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and parsley. I may add a little salt, but often the ham is salty enough to flavor it well.

I add just enough water to cover the ingredients and lit simmer until the potatoes are well done. If they fall apart, they help to thicken the chowder. Then I add a Parmesan cheese and a block of shredded cheddar cheese (or if I don't have that, I add cheddar cheese soup or Velveeta.

When I take it to church, I add a quart of half and half creamer to help thicken it, but when it's just my hubby and I eating it here at home, I add powdered milk or regular skim milk which makes a thinner soup. To thicken it if necessary, I will add some instant mashed potato flakes.

This is great with corn bread!

Thank you Lord for soup. Homemade sure beats canned soup any day!

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