Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour


Soups travel well

A well-traveled friend, Mary Chamberlin, has self-published "The Traveling Soup Pot." Well titled, it is indeed a book of soups and their close relatives like chili and gumbo. It is a spiral bound book so that it both lies flat and stands up. The 100+ recipes are arranged into categories by countries of origin plus one section on soup stocks.

To give you a taste of the contents here are some souped-up recipes stolen from Mary's well tested and tasted book. "The Traveling Soup Pot" is priced at $35 plus taxes and shipping. Order by emailing mchamberlin1@earthlink.net or calling 831-624-0830.

Lentil and Sausage Soup

This hearty soup can truly claim the title "Homemade" in less than an hour's time. Mary suggests serving with Parmesan cheese and French bread. Makes about 12 cups.

3 slices bacon, cut in short strips
4 to 5 chicken, turkey or Italian sausages, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, diced
5 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 bay leaf
1 can (49 ounces) chicken broth
3 cups water
2 cups lentils
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, saute the bacon and sausages in a little olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook uncovered until soft; salt lightly while cooking. Add the herbs, bay leaf, chicken broth and water. Cook for another 5 minutes and add the lentils. Cover pan and simmer on low heat until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf and season to taste.


Hot Tamale Soup

Credited to Yannette Fichou Edwards this is said to be "easy, delicious and unique." Sounds good to me. Topping suggestions are: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, corn or tortilla chips. Makes about 12 cups.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (16 ounces) stewed tomatoes, chopped, with juices
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen or canned corn
Salt and pepper
12 packaged tamales (3 ounces each)

In a heavy saucepan, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until onions are soft and beef is browned, about 4 minutes. Break up mixture with a fork, and be sure to lightly salt ingredients as they cook. Stir in chili, cumin and cayenne and continue to cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and tomatoes, and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir in the beans and corn. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Steam the tamales according to package instructions and break or cut into pieces about the size of a tablespoon. Place a tamale in the bottom of each soup bowl, and ladle soup over the top. Choose a garnish or use them all.


Feather Fowlie Soup

A recipe from Northern Scotland that is reputed to have been a favorite of Mary, Queen of Scots. The recipe is from the Old Mill House of Dr. Fred Hook in the "wee village" of Kirk Oswald near the border. Makes about 12 cups.

1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds
4 ounces ham
3 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 bouquet garni*
7 cups chicken broth
2 egg yolks
3/4 cups cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Cut up chicken and place pieces in a soup pot. Cover with lightly salted water. Simmer 30 minutes. Drain and thoroughly rinse the chicken pieces; return pieces to the empty pot together with the ham, celery, onion, carrots and bouquet garni. Add chicken broth, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Strain the broth into a clean soup spot. Cool and remove any fat. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the chicken and mince both the chicken and ham. In a mixing bowl, blend egg yolks and cream. Whisk the mixture into the soup over low heat. Do not bring to a boil. Stir in the minced ham and chicken and simmer uncovered long enough to heat all ingredients well. Adjust seasoning and serve garnished with parsley.

*Note re Bouquet Garni: You can vary the seasonings which you tie in a 4- by 4-inch piece of cheesecloth, here is an example:

Small bunch of parsley or parsley stems (a good way to use the stems)

8 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1 bay leaf

2 or 3 celery leaves, optional (you don't need for this soup as celery is already an ingredient)


Madrid's Quarter of an Hour Soup

Traditionally made with fresh clams, this recipe is quickly made with canned chopped clams and juice. You can use any bits or pieces of Easter ham that you may have lingering in your freezer. Garnish each bowl with a little cilantro or parsley and chopped egg. Makes about 12 cups.

1/4 cup basmati or long-grain rice
Olive oil
4 ounces ham, diced
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
4 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 pound peeled shrimp
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 small cans chopped clams, with juice

Scald the rice by boiling water for 3 minutes. Strain and rinse in cold water. Set aside. In a large soup pot, saute the ham in olive oil until brown. Remove the ham and stir the onion into the same oil; cook until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook together with onions for about 5 minutes over medium high heat. Stir in paprika and remove from heat. Add the boiling water to tomato-onion mixture. Add the shrimp, peas, scalded rice, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Just before serving, add the clams and juice together with the sauteed ham. Adjust seasonings. Simmer another 2 to 3 minutes and serve.


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