Warm Winter Days With Soup

Published 2:08 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January, known for cold winter days, is starting to live up to its name. It's not surprising that this month has been designated National Soup Month.

There's nothing like a steaming bowl of homemade soup to take the chill off a blustery winter day. Add some crisp crackers or crusty bread and you have a meal your family will ask for again.

Today's recipes have the added bonus of being quick to prepare (two of them go into the crockpot in the morning to simmer all day). The recipes are: Mom's Old-Fashioned Chicken Soup, Cuban Black Bean Soup, Chicken Minestrone, Lentil & Bacon Soup, Fisherman's Stew.

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3 14-oz. cans chicken broth, 2 med. carrots, sliced, 1 lg. celery stalk, sliced, 2 c. cooked chicken, diced, 2 c. med. egg noodles, 2 T. fresh dill, chopped

In 3-qt. saucepan combine broth, carrots, and celery; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir chicken, noodles, and dill into broth mixture in saucepan; heat through. Makes four main dish servings.


1-1/3 c. onion, chopped, 1 T. garlic, minced, 1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced, 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. oregano, 4 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed, 1 T. fresh lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. pepper, hard boiled eggs, chopped, 1/2 tsp. thyme

Mix onions, garlic, jalapeno pepper, cumin, oregano, thyme and pepper in a 4-1/2 quart or larger crockpot. Top with ham hocks and beans; add broth. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours until meat on ham hocks is tender. Lift out ham hocks. When cool enough to handle remove and discard skin and fat. Remove meat from bones, chop coarsely, and return to soup. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with egg. Serves four.


28-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice, undrained, 4 c. chicken broth, 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed, 16-oz. cannelloni beans, 1 med. baking potato, peeled and diced, 1/2 c. carrot, chopped, 1/2 c. onion, chopped, 1/3 c. basil pesto, 1/2 c. celery, chopped, 1 med. zucchini, diced, 1 c. frozen green beans

Mix all ingredients except the cannelloni beans, zucchini, green beans, and basil pesto in a 4-qt. crockpot. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir in cannelloni beans, zucchini and green beans. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Spoon into bowls; top servings with pesto. Serves 6.


2-1/2 c. dry lentils, rinsed, 32-oz. chicken broth, 2 bay leaves, 4 slices bacon, 1 med. onion, chopped, 2 med. carrots, sliced, 2 celery stalks, sliced, 1 garlic clove, crushed, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/4 tsp. thyme

In 4-qt. saucepan heat lentils, broth, bay leaves and 4 cups water to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, 15 minutes. In nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium high heat until browned; transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 1 T. fat from skillet. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer, stirring. Crumble bacon into lentil mixture; stir in salt, pepper, thyme and vegetable mixture. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves. Serves six.


1 T. olive oil, 1 med. red pepper, chopped, 1 med. red onion, halved then sliced, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper, 1/2 c. dry white wine, 2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 lb. cod fillets, cut up, 1 lb. mussels, scrubbed, 1/2 lb. large shrimp, deveined, 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped

In nonstick 5 to 6 quart Dutch oven heat oil. Add chopped pepper and onion and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add wine and heat to boiling; boil 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and 1/2 c. water; heat to boiling over medium high heat. Add cod, mussels, and shrimp; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered, 8 to 9 minutes or until cod and shrimp turn opaque throughout and mussel shells open. Remove Dutch oven from heat; sprinkle with basil. Serves 6.