Winter Soups

Winter weather makes me feel like eating soup for dinner. Unfortunately, there is no winter weather where I live in Florida, so I’m going to pretend it is snowing outside while I enjoy my favorite soup recipes.

Crock Pot Potato Soup
6 potatoes
2 leeks
2 onions
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
4 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
2 Tbsp. butter
13 oz. can evaporated milk

Cut all to bite size. Put all ingredients except milk and chives, in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Stir in evaporated milk during the last hour.

This was a big hit with 3 members of our family. The Ant Bug asked for seconds, ate more for a bedtime snack, then happily ate it for dinner again the next night. The Sweet Bee took one bite and spit it out again, so she filled up on homemade rolls (you can’t please everyone, right?!).

Minestrone Soup
Cook for five minutes:
2 Tb. olive oil or other oil
2 cups chopped onions (1 large onion)
5 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 or 2 tsp. salt

Add and cook for 10 minutes, stir occasionally:
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium carrots sliced or dices
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
Black pepper to taste

Add, cover and simmer for 15 minutes:
1 medium bell pepper, sliced or diced
1 medium zucchini, sliceed
1 cup diced eggplant, optional
5-6 cups water
1 (14 oz.) can tomato sauce

Add and simmer five minutes more:
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained

Add and cook until tender:
1 cup pasta (uncooked shells, bows, or macaroni)

Add:
1 or 2 diced tomatoes (or 1 can chopped tomatoes)

Sprinkle chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese on each bowl or soup before serving.

White Chicken Chili
1 small onion, peeled and chopped fine
2-3 medium garlic cloves, peeled/chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1- 4oz can chopped green chilies
30 ounces (2 cans) white bean undrained (great northern, cannellini, or garbonzo)
1 can chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt and a couple shakes of pepper
2-3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded or cubed
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice from 1 lime

Saute onions and garlic in 1 Tb. olive oil until cooked. Then add the tomatoes, chilies, white beans, chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Then slowly stir in the cheese and sour cream until well-blended. Add chopped cilantro and the lime juice. Stir after each addition. Simmer slowly so flavors can work their magic (1-2 hours), stirring frequently.

Crock pot variation: Combine all ingredients in pot except for sour cream and cheese. Let simmer for 4-6 hours. Add the sour cream and cheese for the last hour. May use frozen chicken breasts.

I always cook this in the crock pot. The cilantro is the key to greatness in this recipe!

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Note: There will be no Friday Nature Walk this week. We’ll be enjoying the day off from school and putting up our Christmas tree.

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