Friday, October 12, 2018

On The Menu - Fall/Winter Saturdays: Create a Soup

From Grandma Nancy's Kitchen
Fall/Winter Saturdays: Create a Soup 

One of my absolute favorite fall and winter rituals is the weekly pot of soup. My grandchildren look forward to samples for their lunchboxes or just an evening with grandma, good soup, and hot buttered biscuits. This is my basic recipe and some of my favorite variations. 

Base Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
• ½ cup chopped celery
• 1 medium onion chopped
• Choice of: ½ cup chopped red pepper or carrot (I prefer the peppers)
• Optional: ½ cup chopped mushrooms
• 1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic (I prefer the bottled version)
• 1-2 cartons stock (Choice of chicken, beef or vegetable)
• Choice of: 1 cup dry pasta or 1 cup cooked rice
• Salt and pepper to taste

Add-ons for chicken base:
• 1-2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
• Optional: 1 can cream of chicken soup (if only using 1 carton stock)
• Optional: 1 cup fresh spinach
• Optional: 1 cup shredded cheese (any variety but cheddar works best)
• Optional: 1 cup frozen broccoli florets
• Optional: 1 – 14oz can of chopped tomatoes

 Add-ons for beef base:
• 1-2 cups cooked and shredded beef, pork, or 1 lb cooked ground beef
• Optional: 1 can cream of mushroom soup (if only using 1 carton stock)
• Optional: ½ cup sour cream
• Optional: 1 cup shredded cheese (great with ground beef for cheeseburger soup)
• Optional: 1 cup frozen vegetable of choice
• Optional: 1 – 14oz can of chopped tomatoes

Hint: You can add as many options as you’d like. However, remember, the more options you add, the more stock you will need.

• Heat oil in heavy soup/stock pot, cook celery, onion, pepper/carrot/mushroom for 3-5 minutes until onion is translucent.
• Add Italian seasoning and garlic, stir to combine.
• Add any optional frozen vegetables, stir to combine.
• Add stock and bring to boil.
• Add pasta (if using) and cook until al dente.
• Add spinach (if using) and cook 2 minutes until wilted.
• Add canned tomatoes of using
• Add rice (if using instead of pasta), chicken or beef, and creamed soup (do not dilute) and cook through until heated.

The beauty of this base recipe is you can go crazy with anything and everything in your refrigerator/freezer. My grandson’s favorite is cheeseburger soup using the ground beef, pasta, cream of mushroom soup, and cheddar cheese. I usually sneak in a few extra veggies and he doesn’t seem to mind! 

Grandma Nancy: Award-winning author, Nancy Fraser, has published twenty-seven novels/novellas over the course of her 20+ year career. When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy splits her free time between her five grandchildren. She’s also an avid traveler with Las Vegas being her favorite destination. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

By Nancy Fraser
Can the sexy bachelor fall for a woman with a house full of children or will his Halloween be more trick than treat?

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