Hearty Winter Soups

There’s nothing more soothing in the cold of the winter than a nice, piping-hot bowl of soup. Homemade’s the best. It’s chilly outside and the ground has a winter carpet of white, so soup is on the menu.
As I write, a pot of what will soon be a complete soup is on the stove simmering, awaiting its final ingredients, a roux to thicken, and some willing diners!

When I make soup I just decide what will be the base, chicken broth, milk, beef broth – with meat sometimes, without other times. I use a lot of vegetables.

Today I am inspired by a bowl of soup my husband had in a restaurant yesterday; it was cream of chicken with vegetables. I don’t plan on putting any chicken in this soup, but I do plan on making it creamy. I’ve used chicken broth and milk as the base.

I’ll have to really concentrate as I make it to give you the right ingredients, as each soup I make is generally a bit of this, a bit of that. I put in whatever tickles my fancy.

Join me, won’t you, as I put some soup together?

Creamy Vegetable Soup

  • 1 t. olive oil
  • An onion, diced
  • Three potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Frozen mixed vegetables, whatever amount you like
  • 2 cans of chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. granulated chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp. of minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp. of poultry seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon of spicy chicken seasoning (or any seasoning you prefer)
  • 1 tsp. of celery seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups of milk

Prepare onion and potato. Brown in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add frozen veggies, chicken broth and seasonings. Simmer until the vegetables are done. Add milk.

Make a roux (equal parts of butter and flour – I used 1/4 c. butter and 1/4. flour this time) by melting butter and stirring in flour. Use a whisk to smooth it out. Then add to your soup to thicken. If you want a richer, browner soup cook the roux until it is golden brown. I use the microwave for this, but you may do it on the stove. Just be sure not to burn it or your soup will taste burned.

Adjust seasonings to taste; I added a bit more salt and pepper to taste.

Well, there you have it.

I just finished my soup and now it will simmer until we are ready for lunch, about an hour and a half.

Yum! Lunch will be delicious today.

I make beef soup a lot, with tomatoes in it. My mother made it as I was growing up and I have adapted it to our tastes. I love it. Here’s the recipe:

Vegetable Beef Soup

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb. stewing beef
  • 1 tsp. Johnny’s Dock or other seasoning salt
  • 6 medium potatoes, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can corn with liquid
  • 1 can tomatoes (large or small, your choice)
  • 2 T. powdered au jus mix
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Here’s how I prepare it:

I dice the onion and throw into the oil in the pan. Then I add the beef and brown it. I use round steak if I don’t like the stew meat in the market and cut it in bite-sized pieces.

When the beef is browned I add the rest of the ingredients but the au jus. I let it simmer for a few hours, then add the au jus and vinegar. Ready for the table!

Both of these soups can be altered. Some cabbage would be good in both. Or perhaps you would like some black beans in the beef soup. Try some favorite spices. Use your imagination. I like lots of spices, but have added too many at times. It’s best to start with a few and add a little at a time.

I like to serve my soup with rolls or crackers. There are so many on the market it’s always fun to try something new.

Hope you enjoy these recipes.

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