The Gourmet Touch: Making these dishes is soup-er simple
by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star
Oct 30, 2012 | 1746 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fall is the perfect time to pull out the soup pot and make soup, stew, chili or chowder.

Soup-making can open an avenue of creativity for those who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. Just take a look into the pantry, freezer and refrigerator for ingredients that would be good in soup. You might be surprised when you put together your new soup.

Recently, I wanted some vegetable soup but didn’t want to go to the grocery store for ingredients. I knew that I had tomatoes in the freezer, so I started with a quart of those. I also noticed a partial package of frozen mixed vegetables in the freezer along with some green beans and corn. After this mixture had cooked for a while, I tasted the soup and noticed that it needed “something.” I added a small can of tomato sauce, salt, pepper and a little beef soup base.

Usually I make my vegetable soup with ground chuck, but as you might guess, I didn’t have any. When I checked the refrigerator, I noticed some leftover meatloaf, so I decided to add it to the pot. Tasted and approved.

Recently our senior group at church was treated to lunch at the beautiful home of a former pastor and his wife, Rudy and Joan Ross in Cartersville, Ga. Joan had prepared five wonderful soups and four delicious desserts for us to enjoy.

Of course, I tasted all the soups (vegetable, bean, chicken noodle, cauliflower and cheese) but the cheese soup was my favorite. Actually, I combined the cheese soup with the cauliflower soup and it was great. The following cheese soup is not the one Joan prepared, but it is quite tasty.

Another favorite soup at our house is the Quick and Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup. This is simple. Just open five cans and add the three “c’s” … chicken, cheese, and cumin.

So if you are in the mood for soup, be creative with whatever ingredients that you have on hand.

Velvet Cheese Soup

¼ cup butter
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrots
¼ cup finely chopped bell pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups boiling water
2 pounds Velveeta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a soup pot, combine butter, onions, celery, carrots and bell pepper. Saute until vegetables are tender, but not browned.

In a large saucepan, heat the broth, half and half and milk. Add the flour to the vegetables. Mix well. Add the boiling water and the milk mixture. Stir well. Add the cheese in small pieces. Reduce heat to low and stir until cheese melts. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Quick and Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (11 ounce) can chipotle white corn
1 (16 ounce) can Northern (or Navy) beans
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup shredded or chopped cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
¼ teaspoon cumin (or to taste)

Combine soup and broth in large saucepan or soup pot. Whisk until blended. Add corn, beans, Rotel and chicken. Heat thoroughly. Add cheese and cumin. Cook over low heat until cheese melts. Serve with crisp tortilla chips.
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The Gourmet Touch: Making these dishes is soup-er simple by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star

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