Quick & Easy|
By Beverly Barbour
"Tis the season to be jolly" has ended; Now "Tis the season to be frugal"
The pounds rolled on now the bills roll in. Nothing to do but cut down on both calories and cash. But wasn't it fun?
Now it's time for soup--cheap, filling and warming to body and soul. (Does that make soup the original soul food?)
Sausage & Pasta Soup
The chicken stock can come from turkey carcass, bouillon cubes, or a can. If you want to add a taste of Italy use Italian sausage or add some Italian seasoning. It is easy to cut this large recipe in half.
2 pounds sausage, bulk or link
If link sausage is used, squeeze the meat from the casings into a large kettle over high heat and stir often, breaking lumps with a spoon, until browned and crumbly. Spoon out meat and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan. Add carrots, onion, and garlic; stir often until onion is limp. Add broth, tomatoes with juice, beans and basil. Bring to a boil. Add pasta; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is just tender to bite, about 10 minutes. Skim and discard fat. Stir in spinach and cook just until it is wilted, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pass parmesan cheese to sprinkle on and add extra flavor. Makes 10 to 12 servings; about 5 1/2 quarts.
Dodge City Minestrone
This is a good way to use the bones from a beef roast and any vegetables that escaped the holiday feasting.
2 pounds beef bones
Combine soup bones, beans, onion, garlic, bay leaf, water and tomatoes; bring to a boil, skim foam and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer until beans are tender (about 2 hours if using dried beans). Remove bones and bay leaf; skim fat from soup. Add remaining ingredients except macaroni and simmer, covered for 20 minutes longer until vegetables are tender. Add pasta and cook 8 to 10 minutes longer; adjust seasoning. Makes 10 servings.
Roasted Carrot & Bean Soup
This is a good recipe for vegetarians, providing they don't object to a little chicken flavor.
5 large carrots, halved
Preheat oven to 350F. Place carrots, celery and onion in shallow dish; dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar, ginger and mace. Pour 2 cups of broth into the bottom of the dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 2 hours. Remove vegetables and transfer them, along with any liquid, to a large, heavy pot. Add 4 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes, partially covered. Cool a bit. Puree the soup along with the cooked beets in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Add some of the remaining broth for a thinner soup, if desired. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream. Makes 6 servings.
Corn & Chicken or Turkey Chowder
A tasty way to use leftover cooked poultry, potatoes and vegetables.
1 tablespoon butter
Melt the shortening in large pan; add mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in flour; gradually whisk in the milk. Return to heat and add the potato, thyme, salt, pepper, and corn; bring to a boil. Stir in shredded poultry and half of the scallions; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with green onions. Makes 4 servings.
Rice, Lentil, Ham Soup
Leave out the ham and you still have a soup with complete protein. Great for hungry vegetarians.
1 1/2 cups lentils
Wash lentils and place in kettle with stock, seasonings and rice. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, 15 to 20 minutes. Add onion and ham. Cook another 30 to 40 minutes. Season to taste and serve. Makes about 10 cup; 6 to 8 servings, without the ham.
These are inexpensive soul warmers, but if you are serious about calorie control, don't have seconds!