Friday

SOUPS! EITHER LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM.



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SOUPS! EITHER LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM.

I happen to love soup.

It's a nice hearty meal that can, if prepared right, with tastes of a hearty broth, spices, additions that add to the soup eating experience. Soups also are great to eat with a sandwich to the side when a single sandwich will not do.

Thus as I begin the odyssey of becoming a competent cook, I shall begin my journey with soup .

The first soup of my story turned out to be a huge surprise as it was given to me via Facebook, almost as an afterthought, by my sister-in-law.

ITis ¡s such an easy recipe. 1 Ib frozen chopped ____
tccoIi. 1 16 oz pasteurized prepared cheese I used I
├ČeIveeta sharp cheddar. 1 1O1/4oz can cream of___
Iery soup 1 141/2 oz chicken orveg. broth. Cut upL
eadddfsaInd pepper and cook in slowl

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1 lb frozen broccolli
1-16 oz pasteurized prepared cheese-velveeta sharp cheddar is good
1-10.25 can cream of celery soup
1-14.5 oz chicken or veg broth

Cut up cheese and add, with all the other ingredients to a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
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Man I love this soup! One batch lasts me an entire week, three meals, lunch and dinner, with various sandwich/cracker accompaniments.

Next a big crockpot full of chili which I discovered I loved as well.

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Slow Cooker Chili
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes
Yield: 6 - 7 servings
Ingredients
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 2 1/4 lbs lean ground beef
• 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
• 2 (14.5) oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
• 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
• 2 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
• 1 Tbsp ground cumin
• 1 Tbsp paprika
• 2 tsp cocoa powder
• 1 tsp granulated sugar
• 1/2 tsp ground coriander
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 (15 oz) can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• Serve topped with:
• Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, chopped red or green onions, cilantro, roasted peppers, or hot sauce
• Optionally serve with:
• fresh cornbread or biscuits, baked russet potatoes, saltine crackers or tortilla chips
Directions
• Heat olive oil in a large nonstick saucepan over moderately high heat. Once oil is hot, carefully crumble ground beef into oil and cook, stirring occasionally until beef has browned. Drain most of fat from beef, leaving about 2 - 3 Tbsp in with beef (this is optional, I think it ads flavor but you can drain it all if you'd prefer). Pour browned beef into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker. Add in onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder, sugar, coriander and season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and cook on low heat for 5 - 6 hours.
• Stir in dark and light red kidney beans and allow to heat through, about 10 minutes (if you want the soup to have more liquid add 1 cup of beef broth or chicken broth - not water). Serve warm with desired toppings (I say the cheese and sour cream is a must, everything else is optional).

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I love the above recipe for chili. Make sure not to over-work/over-fry the ground beef; a tough batch is not so good.

Now for a soup recipe that is NOT so good
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THE BEST Crockpot meal I've tried yet: Sounds too good not to try =o) Ingredients: 1 bag of frozen tortellini 1 small bag of fresh spinach 2 cans of italian style diced tomatoes 1 box or 4 cups or vegetable broth 1 block of cream cheese put all ingredients in crockpot, chunking up the cream cheese. Cook on low for 5-6 hrs
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The above recipe has flaws in that it does not stipulate the amounts of the cans or the "1 bag of tortellini".

But in the interest of my never-ending quest for good soup, I took a chance.

The spinach was delicious. What I have learned from this failure is that I consider fresh spinach a fine ingredient for my soups.

I don't much like tortellini I decided, especially tri-color ones. The orange tortellinis remind of some kind of squash and I hate squash of any kind.

As for the cream cheese ingredient, well that was what drew me to the recipe in the first place. I like a somewhat thickened soup so I figured I'd give it a try.

The cream cheese, which I did "chunk" up. Still the cream cheese formed little white morsels throughout the soup broth that was visually not so appealing.

Tune in again for a really great spaghetti sauce and the world-famous recipe for deviled eggs.


Ending With a laugh