Thursday, January 10, 2019

Soup A Winter Staple

by Karen Rose Smith

Nothing warms a chilled body on a cold winter's day more than a piping bowl of hearty soup.  Although it is expedient to use fresh garden vegetables from a summer garden, a good pot of soup just seems to complement the cooler fall and winter weather. 

I did create a tasty zucchini soup which my hubby and I enjoyed last summer.  The lightness of the broth and the freshness of the straight-from-the-garden ingredients made a perfect menu item along with cold summer salads and a refreshing glass of iced tea.  We also enjoyed cauliflower cheese soup for our summer lunches.

The soups I prepare for colder weather meals are much heartier, utilizing meat as the main ingredient.  Sometimes when I'm feeling adventurous, I use one of my basic recipes, adding different ingredients, substituting vegetables or perhaps using pasta instead of rice or barley.  Some of my favorites are minestrone, beef barley, beef and wild rice and chicken noodle. 

I created a recipe for leek and potato soup that I included in my first Daisy's Tea Garden book, MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES.  The recipe is below:

Daisy's Leek and Potato Soup

3 tablespoons high heat sunflower oil
1 cup onion
3 leeks, diced (about 2 cups)
1 cup celery, chopped
1 clove of garlic
3 tablespoons flour
1 quart chicken broth (I use Swanson 100% Chicken Broth/99% fat free)
2 1/2 to 3 cups peeled potatoes in small chunks
2 cups carrots, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk

Trim top and bottom of leeks.  Cut lengthwise and soak in water 10 minutes.

In a 4 1/2-quart pot, heat sunflower oil and saute onion, leeks and celery for about 3 minutes.  After the mixture starts to sizzle, add garlic.  Add flour and stir well.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes, carrots, bay leaf, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil again, then simmer until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes).  Add milk and simmer 5 more minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

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