Warm Your Family this Autumn with Soup

I consider soup to be a perfect food. Perfect foods, in my opinion, are those that pack a ton of nutrition in a simple serving. Bananas, yogurt, and soup all give me a lot of nutrition and fill me up without a lot of fuss.

Soup is very easy to fix but to do it right, you need two days. I like to simmer the meat or bones in my crockpot with seasonings. I let this mixture cook on low for one day.

The second day, I cool the meat until I can cut it up while adding my other ingredients to the broth. I keep an assortment of beans in my pantry since all of my soups tend to feature them. Canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, taco seasoning, and other favorites add to the flavor of my soup. Pasta, rice, and beans help make the soup hearty for even a big appetite. A variety of fresh vegetables add to the nutritional value of the soup.

When you simmer veggies with your broth, you can puree them, adding them to your soup for hidden nutrients that add flavor to your dish.

I like to freeze extra broth to make it easy to make soup in a day. A full crockpot of broth is a bit rich for one pot of soup. Ladle some of it into freezer containers, label, and save for another day. I add a bit of water to my broth, along with tomatoes, and that gives me enough liquid for my soups.

A cup of soup is the perfect way to begin a meal on a cool autumn night. This can replace the salad that goes so well with meals in the summer. Soup can also be served as the main dish at dinner along with a side salad and bread. I enjoy soup at lunch or as a snack during the day.

It doesn’t take much time or many ingredients to make a hearty soup that can be served in a variety of ways to nourish family and friends in the cold days ahead.

Soup Recipes

Black Bean Soup

• 1 cup dried black beans

• 1 quart cold water

• 1/2 onion, sliced

• 1 stalk celery, diced

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

• Dash cayenne

• Sour cream

Wash & soak beans overnight in cold water. Sauté onion & celery in 1 tablespoon butter until lightly browned; add to beans, bring to a boil. Low heat to a simmer. Cook covered for 3 hours or until beans are soft, adding more water as it boils away. When beans are tender, allow to cool slightly, about 30-60 minutes. Purée lightly in food processor. Pour beans back into pan, adding well mixed seasonings. Reheat on low heat. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter, gradually adding flour. Mix well. Add flour mixture slowly to soup gradually, stirring well as soup thickens. Ladle into bowls, topping with a spoon of sour cream. Serve with fresh baked corn bread.

Chili Bean Soup

• 1 box vegetable broth

• 1 large can crushed tomatoes

• 1 large can kidney beans

• 1 pound ground beef

• 1 small bag chopped cabbage (coleslaw mixture)

• 1 cup chopped frozen onions

• chili pepper

• salt and pepper

Pour broth into crock pot. Add ground meat, tomatoes and beans. Stir thoroughly. Add seasoning. Allow to simmer for 4-6 hours. One hour before serving, add 2 cups of the cabbage mixture and onions. Serve with spicy corn muffins.

Quick ‘n Easy Hearty Soup

• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 1 1/2 pound lean ground beef

• Large can diced tomatoes

• 2 boxes beef broth

• 2 cups water

• 1 package frozen mixed vegetables

• 4 medium carrots, peeled & quartered

• 1 bay leaf

• 4 celery tops

• 6 sprigs parsley

• 1/2 teaspoon thyme

• 10 peppercorns

• 2 teaspoon salt

Sauté onion in butter until golden but not brown. Add beef & cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredients except for frozen vegetables. Heat to boiling. Cover pan & simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add frozen vegetables & cook about 15 minutes, until frozen vegetables are just tender. Serve with salad & corn bread. Even great with grilled cheese.

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