Once again, soup is on my mind, more than likely as a result of the extreme cold we’ve been experiencing lately. Hot soups are a good way to warm up!
When looking through my recipe books for ideas on what to include in this column, I found myself drooling (not literally) at several soup recipes and had to hang up my writing for the day to get in the kitchen and start cooking.
The first recipe that caught my eye was crab soup. Crabmeat is hard to come by in these parts, but I did have a package of imitation crab meat in my freezer—sometimes we have to make do with substitutes. However, as I checked the ingredients on the list, I found that I didn’t have heavy cream (I considered using Coffee Mate creamer, which I have done before), then, after digging in my pantry for cooking sherry, I found it to be past-date and not useable (it was dark red and would surely have discolored the cream-based soup). Those ingredients were added to my next shopping list so, for lack of the right stuff to make the soup, I was not able to make it just yet, but still included the crab soup recipe here.
My husband, Fred, put in a request for sauerkraut sausage soup. I didn’t have the potatoes on hand for making it from scratch, but I found the quick potato kielbasa soup recipe and just added about 16 ounces of sauerkraut, some caraway seed and dill and, voila—easy sauerkraut sausage soup! I also doubled the recipe–why go to all the trouble of making soup if there’s not enough for leftovers?
My next soup choice was based on using up stuff in my fridge. I had some fresh mushrooms on hand as well as some green onions that were close to going over the edge. I was also trying to adhere to my “make better food choices” credo as of late, so opted for the easy egg drop soup. I didn’t have fresh spinach, but a well-drained, 13.5-ounce can of spinach did the trick, especially since it was to be cooked to wilted in the soup anyway.
On all-new recipes, I’m trying to adhere to some advice I found on an online recipe website which suggested, “When you try a new recipe, make it the way presented the first time to have a baseline of what the recipe
should be. Then, the next time you make it, add your own changes to it, as desired.” Good advice but hard to follow since I am constantly adding or eliminating things from recipes.
Soups are especially susceptible since I sample the whole time they are cooking. I did add some spicy sauce to the egg drop soup to mimic a hot and sour soup. It wasn’t spicy-hot enough for me so I’ll probably add some cayenne to the batch next time, as I did to my individual bowl when I had it for dinner.
So, here are just a few recipes that caught my eye. I can only cook so much soup in a day but will be better prepared for my next soup recipe column. As always, your favorite recipes, suggestions, or comments are welcome. Keep warm!
From: Soup Recipes cookbook
• 2 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped
• 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
• 2 Tbsp. flour
• 4 c. milk
• 1 lb. lump crabmeat
• 1/2 c. heavy cream
• 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper
• 1/3 c. sherry
to a simmer and gradually add the egg mixture. Return to low heat, add crabmeat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cream, and heat. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and sherry. Heat thoroughly but do not boil. It’s best not to freeze this soup…hard-cooked eggs do not freeze
Quick Potato Kielbasa
From: Soup Recipes cookbook
• 1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of potato soup
• 1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of celery soup
• 1 (10.5 oz.) can water
• 1/2 lb. cooked kielbasa (Polish sausage), diced or thinly sliced
• 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley, fresh or dried
• 1 1/4 c. milk
Combine soups and water. Add sausage and parsley. Simmer, covered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add milk. Cover and simmer another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Best when let set to cool and re-heated
Easy Egg Drop Soup
• 8 oz. mushrooms
• 3 green onions
• 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
• 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
• 4 c. chicken broth
• 2 c. water
• 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
• 2 large eggs
• 2 c. fresh baby spinach (optional)
Wash and slice the mushrooms. Thinly slice the green onions. Use a vegetable peeler or the side of a spoon to scrape the skin from the ginger, then use a cheese grater to grate about 1 tablespoon. Add the mushrooms, green onions, and ginger to a large soup pot along with 1 tablespoon cooking oil. Sauté the vegetables over medium heat or just until – spoon soy sauce to the pot.
In a small bowl stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water until the cornstarch slurry into the soup pot and stir to combine.
Bring the soup up to a boil over medium-high heat. While waiting for the soup to boil, whisk two eggs in a bowl. Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to low and wait until the soup stops boiling. Use a large wooden spoon to stir the pot and make the broth swirl
in one direction. While the soup is swirling, slowly pour the whisked eggs into the soup in a thin stream. Let the eggs sit in the hot set.
Finally, add the fresh spinach to the pot and stir until it has wilted. Taste and adjust the salt by adding more soy sauce, if needed. Serve hot. (Yield: 6 servings)
From: Soup Recipes cookbook
• 2 Tbsp. butter
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 lb. ground beef
• 1 (12 oz.) can V-8 juice
• 1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
• 1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of asparagus soup
• 1 lb. package frozen mixed vegetables
• 1/4 tsp. thyme
Sauté onion in butter until tender. Remove from pan. Brown meat until pink color disap- undiluted soup, vegetables and thyme. Sim- may substitute your own favorite vegetables.
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