Soups warm appetite on cool days

Wednesday, October 6, 2004


It is such a joy to see our children grow in age and maturity. Each day brings a new set of problems and victories. As they have turned 7 and 10 years of age, sharing a bedroom was just not going to work out much longer. Each of them, having their own interests and hobbies, needed their own space, not only to live in, but to put all of their stuff.

Over the past two weeks we have made great changes in our house painting and decorating their new bedrooms. It too was a joy to get them all fixed up, but now we are left with the problem of what to do with all of the items that came out of the old rooms. Thank goodness our church is having a big garage sale this weekend.

Last week I was able to share several soup recipes with you that readers had sent in. I could not believe how much you enjoyed it. I received many e-mails and comments that it was nice to have the soup recipes going into cool weather. It was so popular that I thought I would just do the same theme this week. I hope you enjoy.

Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, diced

1 can kidney beans, undrained

1 can pinto beans, undrained

1 can whole kernel corn

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

2 cans stewed tomatoes

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

1 1/2 cups water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown ground beef and onion together. Drain meat. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until flavors are well combined. Serve piping hot with corn chips and cheese on top.

Baked Potato Soup

4 large baking potatoes

2/3 cup butter or margarine

2/3 cup flour

6 cups milk

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

12 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, divided

4 green onions, chopped and divided

1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream

Wash and bake potatoes. Cut in half and scoop out insides. This may be done the day before. Melt butter, add flour and stir until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add milk, cooking over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in potatoes, salt, pepper, 1 cup cheese, 1/2 cup of bacon and 2 tablespoons green onions. Cook until heated, but do not boil. Stir in sour cream until heated but not boiling. If too thick you may add more milk at this point. Serve hot topped with remaining cheese, bacon and green onions.

With this cabbage soup you may play with it to suite your family's taste. Add garlic, celery, chili beans or beef broth in any quantity or combination you desire.

Cabbage Soup

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can tomatoes, chopped

2 cups cabbage, chopped

1 can red beans, drained

2 quarts water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown ground beef and onion. Drain. Add remaining ingredients. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Cajun Shrimp Soup

1 tablespoon margarine

1/2 cup green and/or red peppers, diced

1/4 cup celery, diced

3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 to 2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoons flour

3 to 4 cups chicken stock

2 cups milk

4 to 6 drops hot pepper sauce

2 (4.24-ounce) cans tiny shrimp

Melt margarine. Add next six ingredients. Saute until vegetables are limp. Stir in flour. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 4 to 6 bowls of hot and spicy soup.

Harvest Soup

1 butternut squash

3 cups chicken broth

1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons sugar, either white or brown

1/2 to 3/4 package frozen puff pastry, thawed

Peel, seed and cube squash. Simmer in broth 10 to 15 minutes. Put in blender and puree. Return to soup pot and add remaining ingredients except puff pastry. Heat thoroughly. Thaw puff pastry. Put soup into oven proof bowls. Cover with puff pastry, making sure pastry extends down about an inch beyond the rim of the bowls. Press onto bowl firmly. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

Pumpkin Soup

1 (7-pound) pumpkin

7 tablespoons soft butter, divided

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

2/3 cup onion, minced

Salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated

Chicken stock

Bay leaf

1/2 cup cream


Spread bread crumbs in pan. Put in 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cut off top of pumpkin making a 4-inch hole. Scrape out carefully and completely. Rub inside with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with salt. Cook onion in 6 tablespoons butter. Stir in crumbs and cook 2 minutes. Stir in seasonings. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Spoon mixture into pumpkin. Pour in chicken stock to 1/2-inch from top. Lay bay leaf on top and replace cover. Put pumpkin in lightly greased shallow baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Before serving, stir in cream and top with parsley. You may wish to add extra onion and Swiss cheese, if desired. When serving, be sure to get some of the cooked pumpkin from the inside of the pumpkin into each bowl full, being careful not to puncture or come through the outside wall.

I hope you have enjoyed this bit of warm soup recipes. If you have your own favorite recipes, please send them in so others may enjoy them as well.

Have a wonderful week and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699; Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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