Category Archives: soups

Homemade Ham and Bean Soup

                                                                 Nothing better on a cold winter day! Easy to make, and with cornbread, Yum!

I make mine in a crock pot.  This is so easy, takes no time at all, the crock does the work for you!  Start by rinsing 1 lb. bag of great northern beans and 1/2 a 1 lb bag of pinto beans.  1 pkg dry onion soup mix.  1 ham bone with plenty of meat left on it…… now you can use ham or ham hocks, whatever you prefer.  I usually use the ham bone with lots of meat.  Of course the bone gets removed before serving…..

Put all ingredients in crock pot and add water to top of crock pot.  Cook overnight or for 5 or 6 hours, on high heat.  In the morning, or after beans are nice and tender, reduce heat to low and continue cooking til ready to serve.  Watch them and add water if necessary.  I never have to.  I like them a little thick and less soupy.

The pintos and the soup bone, give this soup a very full bodied flavor.

Now add your favorite cornbread and mmmmmmmm!!!!!

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Creamy Potato Soup

          Creamy Potato Soup with Rivels…… just like Granny used to make!  Warm up with a nice hot bowl of soup on a cold, blustery, winter day!

This is pretty easy to make and you can make it “yours” by changing the meat you put in.  I normally use diced ham.  I have used little smokies, (those little cocktail sausages). I have also used crumbled, cooked bacon…. also good is a nice polish sausage or kielbasa, sliced.

Start with a pot that will be large enough to hold the amount of soup you want to make.  I normally make it for a group of at least 6-10 so, scale up or down your ingredients accordingly.

Wash and peel about 8-10 large Idaho potatoes.  cut into bite sized pieces.  place into pot and cover with water.  once boiling, add to water 1 pkg dry onion soup mix.  continue to boil until potatoes are tender.  not mushy, try not to overcook.

While cooking potatoes, make rivels.  Mix about 1 tsp salt with 2 cups of flour, put this  flour  into a bowl.  Make a well in center and add 2 whole eggs.  Now with a fork mix together eggs and flour by starting at the outer edge of the bowl and “turn” the flour into the eggs.  The fork will proceed down through the eggs and by repeating this motion you will eventually mix all the flour with the eggs.  You are not making a sticky dough. your mixture should look more like a dry crumbly mix, almost like pie crust, but much larger pieces.  Make sure the eggs are thoroughly mixed.

Once the potatoes are cooked, continue boiling, do not drain potatoes.  Drop the rivels into the boiling water by gently adding the entire bowl and stirring the potatoes while you add rivels.  Cook allowing to boil for about 5 min. remove from heat.  Add 1/2 stick real butter, allow to melt and then stir.  Add meat, what ever you want to use.  Like I said I normally use diced ham.  I like a generous amount of meat so I will use about 2 cups of diced ham.  Add about a quart of whole or 2% milk, stirring to blend.  Now either return to heat, on low or do as I do.  Put it in a crock pot on warm or low.  After about an hour, this soup will be blended and thicken up to a wonderful consistancy.  If it gets too thick add more milk or water.  Do not cook this on high heat or allow to boil after adding the milk.  Milk will scortch and burn very easily.  Thats why I use the crock pot once its cooked.

I have also added some cubes of velveeta about 1/2 an hour before serving.  Makes an awesome cheesy potato soup too.

Real Homemade Chicken Soup

This is that chicken soup that nurtures and heals…….ahhhhhhh…… and it isn’t hard to make.  The secret to this, is the broth.

This soup is best and easiest when started the night before.  I use a whole chicken.  You may not want to remove all those bones, so you can also buy boneless breast and thighs, but the broth will not be as rich. (If you do it that way, you don’t need to do this the night before, You will be using store bought, premade broth ) You need the fat and skin to create that rich,  soothing and flavorful broth.  Even though once cooked, you have to remove the skin and bones, the difference in the broth it makes is well worth it. But you can suppliment with a canned broth if you like.

In a crock pot, cooked overnight on low, 1whole chicken, seasoned with about 1/4 tsp sage and 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning and   about 1/2 – 1 tsp cracked black pepper.  1 whole small chopped onion, about 2 stalks of celery, chopped , leaves and all.  1 carrot chopped, about 1/4 of a small cabbage, sliced very thin and chopped into small pieces.  Remember we are making the broth at this point.  The veggies for the soup will be added later.  These we are adding now, will mostly be cooked down to flavor the broth.  I don’t use a lot of cabbage, just enough to give it a full bodied flavor, not enough to overpower…. now add just enough water to cover the veggies and let it cook overnight, or for several hours.  It is done when the chicken falls off the bone and the veggies are very soft, almost dissolved.

In the morning I attempt to remove all the skin and bones.  I use a large spoon with slots in it, to separate the meat from the bones.  I put the meat on a plate to make sure I got all the bones out and removed all the skin.  Once I know I got them all, I add the meat back to the crock pot and begin to add the veggies.

About 2 or 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced.  Some carrots.  I use alot since I like them.  About a half a pound bag of those little baby carrots, cut in thirds.  You can use what ever kind you like.  1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped.  Continue cooking on low for about 2 hours. (If you are pressed for time you can boil the veggies together on the stovetop and add them already cooked. )    I normally don’t add noodles unless making this for someone who asked for them.  But its good either way.  Do not add noodles at this point. They will turn to mush.  I cook them over the stove as usual, then just  before serving, I add them to the soup in the crock pot.

The Best Darn Chili EVER!!!

chili over fire

This is a very easy to make chili that everyone seems to love.  You can make it your own by adding or subtracting ingredients.

 

1lb. ground sirloin  (you can use ground beef, ground round, or whatever you prefer)    
*1 16 or 24 oz of your favorite salsa.  I prefer the white corn and black bean salsa.  Oh and here is where you control the heat.  use mild if you prefer a less spicey chili.  medium if you prefer more…..etc… you can also use more salsa if desired.    
*1 pkg. TACO seasoning mix. (not the chili seasoning)
* 1 sweet onion, diced
* 1/2 large green pepper, diced
* 1/2 large yellow pepper diced
* 1/2 large sweet red pepper diced
* 1 large 22 oz can diced tomatoes OR IN SEASON, about 4 fresh tomatoes, diced
* 1 can each, dark red kidney beans
* 1 can black beans
* 1 small can 10 oz v8 juice ( you may not need this, if you prefer a very thick chili, or if you want a soupier texture, then use it or even add more.)

Brown ground sirloin  in large skillet with the taco seasoning, add onion. while this is cooking, put all the other ingredients into a large crock pot, and then when done cooking the ground beef and onion, add to the tomatoes and bean mixture.  Set the crock pot on low and simmer for a couple of hours to blend all the flavors.  This chili is excellent cooked a day ahead.  The flavors will combine and be perfect the next day.  My favorite version of this is to take it camping and cook it over an open fire.  The smoke from the campfire gives it a mellow smokey flavor that can’t be beat!  But just be sure to bring enough, the other campers around you will want some too!