Cathie Campbell

Warm up with some soup

By Cathie Campbell

Potatoes, bacon, onions and corn team up for a delicious and hearty chowder.
Potatoes, bacon, onions and corn team up for a delicious and hearty chowder.

Here we are in my favorite time of year, when there is a crisp chill to the air, leaves are turning color and my appetite leans toward hearty home-cooked meals. I love a hot bowl of soup, especially if accompanied by some tasty sort of bread. I used to have a recipe for tender, light oatmeal dinner rolls that really enhanced any bowl of soup.

I say used to have it because it seems to have become lost! If found, I will be sure to share the recipe with all of you, so you can enjoy the rolls too. There are many great recipes for rolls and other breads, though, and I'm sure you have your own favorites. But let’s get on with the soup.

It’s my hope that you all had a safe, enjoyable summer and that this fall, you and your family will enjoy many a bowl of delicious soup.

Potato chowder with bacon and corn

6 slices of raw bacon, chopped

1/2 cup chopped onions

5 to 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 can (14 3/4-oz.) creamed corn

1 can (12-oz.) evaporated milk

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, optional

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on a layer of paper towels. Cook onions in bacon grease until tender and just beginning to brown.

2. While bacon is cooking, add the potatoes to a large saucepan, with enough water to cover them well. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium and cook, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes become tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the potato water.

3. Add creamed corn, evaporated milk, salt and pepper. Stir in bacon and onions; sprinkle shredded cheese over the top if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Spinach and white bean soup

3 cans (14 1/2-oz. each) vegetable broth

1 can (15 1/2-oz.) great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15-oz.) tomato puree

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 package (6-oz.) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. In a 4-quart crock pot, mix broth, beans, tomato puree, onion, rice, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.

2. Stir in chopped spinach. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Makes 8 servings.

Sausage, chicken, beans and kale soup

1 pound Italian sausage links, casings removed and sliced into 1-inch pieces (I like the sweet Italian sausages)

2 medium onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 pound uncooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cans (15-oz. each) white kidney beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans (14 1/2-oz. each) chicken broth

2 cans (14 1/2-oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

6 cups fresh kale leaves (any tough stems removed), coarsely chopped

Shredded Parmesan cheese

1. In a Dutch oven or other large kettle, cook sausage slices and onions over medium heat until no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Add chicken; cook and stir until the meat loses its pink color.

2. Stir in the beans, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chopped kale and cook mixture until the kale is tender. Serve soup with shredded Parmesan cheese for a topping. Makes about 11 servings (2 3/4 quarts).

Pork pozole, crock pot style

1 can (15 1/2-oz.) hominy, rinsed and drained

1 can (14 1/2-oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (14 1/2-oz.) diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained

1 can (10-oz.) green enchilada sauce (I have tried the red, mild version and it's good)

2 medium carrots, finely chopped (I prefer to omit these)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 pound boneless, country-style pork ribs

Corn tortillas (soft)

Suggestions for toppings: lime wedges, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, chopped radishes, diced avocado, shredded Colby Jack cheese, sour cream and taco sauce.

1. In a 3- or 4-quart crock pot, mix hominy, canned tomatoes, enchilada sauce, carrots (if using), onion, garlic, cumin and salt. Add the boneless pork ribs to mixture, cover and cook on low setting for about 4 hours or until the pork meat is tender.

2. Remove pork from crock pot and cut or shred into bite-sized pieces; return meat to crock pot. Serve pozole with corn tortillas and your choice of toppings. Makes 6 servings.