Nevermind that it's suppose to be 80-degrees this weekend, we are now all about autumn.
Nothing says Fall like a steaming bowl of homemade soup. Even though most soups have multiple ingredients, the cost of making a pot of soup is relatively inexpensive. And when you Shop Cheap, getting a lot for a little is what it's all about. This week, recipe researcher Sheila Kern put away the summer recipe book and went searching for fall foods. I think you will like what she found. Enjoy!
Creamy Squash Soup
Makes 6 servings
3 bacon strips
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups mashed, cooked winter squash
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk, divided
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a saucepan or Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp; crumble and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon drippings; saute onion and garlic in dripping until tender. In a blender or food processor, puree squash, flour, 1/3 cup milk and onion mixture; add to pan. add broth, curry powder, salt, pepper, nutmeg and remaining milk; bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Top servings with a dollop of sour cream if desired. Sprinkle with bacon.
French Lentil Soup
Makes 8 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
1 14 1/2-ounce can dice tomatoes in juice
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; saute; until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.
Transfer 2 cups soup (mostly solids) to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with celery leaves.
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Show: Paula's Home Cooking Episode: Game Night (Appetizers)
Yield: 12 to 16 servings
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced onions
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
Corn chips, for serving
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish
Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.
Baked Potato Soup
Cooking Light, September 2007
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups soup, 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons onions, and about 1 tablespoon bacon)
4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)
6 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
Cracked black pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°.
Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons onions, and about 1 tablespoon bacon. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.
Tuscan Spinach, Bean & Sausage Soup
From EatingWell: January/February 1998
Makes 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each
1 link hot Italian-style turkey sausage
1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces frozen cut-leaf spinach
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Bring sausage and 1/4 inch water to a simmer in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, until water evaporates, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to cook until the sausage is browned on all sides, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board; when cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Combine the sausage, beans, broth, garlic, spinach and marjoram in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese just before serving.
French Onion Soup
From Everyday Food, January/February 2005
This soup can be frozen for up to three months; to serve, defrost, and warm on the stove, over low heat. The soup gets its rich taste from caramelized onions.
10 medium yellow onions (about 4 1/2 pounds), halved, peeled, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup dry red wine
For Cheese Toast (optional)
4 slices toasted multigrain bread
4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large roasting pan, toss together onions, oil, sugar, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover tightly with foil; cook until steamed, about 30 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring every 30 minutes, until onions are golden brown and caramelized, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more.
Transfer onion mixture to a large saucepan (reserve roasting pan); stir in broth and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until liquid has darkened, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, deglaze the roasting pan with wine: Place the pan over medium heat; add wine. Scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon or scraper to loosen any browned bits. Simmer until reduced and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Pour liquid (and browned bits) into soup. Season with salt and pepper. (If freezing, let cool completely before transferring to airtight containers, leaving 1 inch at top.)
If desired, make the cheese toast: Heat broiler. Place bread on a baking sheet; top with Swiss cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Cut each slice into four triangles.
To serve, divide soup among bowls; garnish each with two triangles of cheese toast, if desired.