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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Soup’s On!

By Sherrie Norris

There’s nothing more satisfying on a cold winter’s day than a bowl of hot soup or chili to warm us from the inside out.

Depending on the palate you are trying to please, making a pot of soup can be an orchestrated affair for a special occasion or simply a clean-out-the-fridge weekly event. I’ve done the latter quite often in recent weeks.

My all-time favorite, since childhood, has been tomato soup — accompanied by a grilled cheese sandwich, of course. That has become my most requested special event meal. And, yes, with a “big” birthday coming soon, I’ve already reminded family members of that fact. A couple of years ago, my daughter-in-law and her mother made a delicious homemade tomato soup with a gourmet grilled cheese for my birthday that was out of this world. (Hint, hint.)

Regardless of the occasion, hopefully the following ideas will help keep your bowls filled and your appetites satisfied.

Quick Taco Soup

Easy to make and feeds a large crowd.

2 lbs. ground chuck

1 med. onion, chopped or diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 pkg. Taco seasoning

2 cans chili beans

2 cans Mexi-corn

1 can diced tomatoes or Rotel

1 can tomato sauce

1 lg. jar of salsa or picante sauce

1 can black beans

Additional seasonings, to taste.

Saute onions and celery in a little oil, until tender. Add beef and cook until done. Mix with remaining ingredients in large pot and simmer about 45 minutes to 1 hour. May add water if soup is too thick.


Crockpot Chicken Chili

2 cans Great Northern or Navy beans

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice

2 tsp. chicken base or bouillon

1 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. ground cumin

1 can (4 oz.) chopped mild green chilies

2 cups cooked chicken

1 cup corn kernels, optional

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours. Serve with cornbread or crackers.


Potato Soup

1 Tbs. cooking oil

1 med. onion, chopped

3 celery stalks, diced

3 large potatoes, diced

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large pot; sauté onion until translucent. Add celery and sauté for a couple more minutes. Add potatoes and cover for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaf. Let cool for a few minutes. Reheat gently, but not to boiling.