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It's Finally Fall, So Soup's On!

Until this week, Mississippians really didn’t know it was autumn, thanks to above-average temperatures that produced steamy days and tepid night. However, now that cooler weather seems to have arrived, it’s time to start thinking about ways to keep warm. Of course, every Mississippians worth his or her salt relishes a good old-fashioned bonfire complete with marshmallows and possibly even a crispy hot dog on a coat hanger. If you prefer to watch the falling leaves from inside, there are cozy throws, fuzzy socks, and sweaters, albeit light ones for our ever-changing temps. When mealtime rolls around, there’s nothing better than sitting down to a bowl of hot, creamy soup. It’s the perfect antidote to dropping temps or a less-than-stellar day.

Others obviously share my love of soup, judging from the amount of requests that begin pouring in this time of year. Lucky for you, I have a number of tried-and-true soup recipes in my repertoire. So, get out the stock pot, begin chopping vegetables and get ready for some homemade soup that’ll soothe whatever ails you.

Simple But Good Hamburger Soup

2 pounds lean ground chuck

1 medium onion, diced

2 celery stalks, sliced and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

32 ounces beef broth

1 can tomato soup

1 medium can diced tomatoes with juice

4-5 medium potatoes, diced into chunks

3 cups frozen mixed vegetables

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 bay leaf

Teaspoon of sugar to reduce the acidity of tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown chuck thoroughly; drain grease. Add to stockpot, followed by remainder of ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer two hours until potatoes and other vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Feeds a Crowd Hearty Soup

1 pound thick bacon

3 pounds boneless beef stewing meat, cubed

3 (14-1/2 ounce) cans stewed or diced tomatoes

1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes and green chiles

3 celery stalks, chopped

3 medium onions, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 cups water

6-7 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 pound carrots, sliced

1 (15-ounce) can English peas, drained

Fry bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving drippings. Crumble bacon and divide between two Crock-pots. Brown stewing beef in bacon drippings in skillet; drain.

Divide beef between two Crock-pots. Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Divide between the Crock-pots.

Stir ingredients in slow cookers, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

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