It is getting a little chilly outside, and what could be better than a piping hot cup of soup and a cornbread muffin? Yum! Just thinking about it makes me happy.
Bob Graves thinks it is beef stew time, “Soup is for lightweights,” he said, all in good humor, I am sure, because the rest of us “lightweights” love a steaming, hearty bowl of soup, but I will indulge one of my favorite Facebook friends for a minute.
Classic Beef Stew
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or shortening
1 pound boneless beef chuck, tip or round roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups water
½ teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large unpeeled potato, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1 dried bay leaf
½ cup cold water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
In 12-inch skillet or four-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat one to two minutes. Add beef; cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides. Add water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes or until beef is almost tender.
Stir in remaining ingredients except cold water and flour. Cover; cook about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf. In a tightly covered jar or container, shake cold water and flour; gradually stir into beef mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute until thickened.
At my house, beef stew and Brunswick stew (and all other stews for that matter) would fall under that category of soups, but that sweet man called us lightweights—women LOVE that word, but I had to call him out on behalf of the guys.
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The weather is just right to better enjoy the Mississippi outdoors in my opinion. My church is already starting to think about our annual picnic to “Little Mountain” or Jeff Busby State Park, but we are waiting on the leaves to start turning, which seems to be a little late this year.
As we are thinking about the picnic, there are always some amazing soups and sandwiches on the menu. I love soup in the fall and winter.
Two very sweet friends of ours inspired this week’s column. Just after shoulder surgery, Betty Harpole sent over a delicious beef vegetable soup with sweet cornbread and brownies. It was so good! And a little bit later, Dorothy Pepper sent over veggie soup with cornbread muffins and chocolate pie. The soups got me thinking about fall. I asked Facebook and Twitter friends and followers to share their favorite soups and received a lot of response
Tina Heath loves soup, and she said she makes vegetable soup by collecting leftovers.
“(I love) homemade vegetable soup, seasoned with leftover ham pieces,” Heath said. “I keep any leftover amounts of green beans, butterbeans, peas, corn, mashed potatoes, sautéed zucchini and squash in a freezer container and just keep adding little bits when I have it. Then one day, [I] pull out the bowl and add the ham, onion and tomatoes, etc. [It is the] best pot of soup without starting from scratch.”
I love that idea. Glenn and Tabitha Pearson love beef vegetable soup. Tracey Palmer and Nancy Latham love homemade vegetable beef soup with cornbread. Janet Lea Brister Henley also loves vegetable soup, but she has to add ground sausage in it.
One very popular soup that I am planning to try this year is taco soup. One summer, I lived with my parents in Sulpher Springs, Texas, and I worked at a soup and sandwich shop. Taco soup was on the menu every day. I never tried it. They had large chunks of green bell peppers in their soup, and I had a hard time believing that was good, but I am a little more open to the possibilities these days,and this recipe doesn’t have the bell peppers.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 pounds ground beef
1 15-ounce can pinto beans
1 15-ounce can corn
1 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water
Sour cream, for garnish
Sliced green onions, for garnish
In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook onion until soft, 5 minutes, then add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add beans, corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, taco seasoning, and water. Garnish with sour cream and green onions.
Most of my Faceboook and Twitter friends love taco soup, so I am going to have to check it out. Kimberly Cleveland loves good, hot, taco soup, and so does Christie Pepper Bodge, Betty McMurry McCoy, Leigh Bridges Hill (Kilmichael girls living in Wyoming have got to warm up from the inside out), Christy McNeel Latham, Karen Ware Shivel and John and Tiffany Pritchett.
The other half of my Facebook and Twitter friends and followers love potato soup. Now we’re talkin’!
I have shared my go-to creamy potato soup recipe here before, and I think Tina Heath and I have the same recipe, made with real butter and cream.
Potato soup is a fall favorite for Mary Yeatman, Gaylynn Bailey, Amber Ware, Nancy Burton Nail, Theresa Alldread Mitchell, Bonnie Corley Locke, Tracey Palmer, Becky Johnson and Tracie Perrigan Cunningham. They all love potato soup.
Carolyn McMullen said she loves her potato soup with lots of cheese and bacon bits on top, and that is the way all potato soups should be served. Jeanie Ming likes baked potato soup with Gouda cheese and bacon.
Jessie Frye said she loves Jimmie Whitt's potato soup and her son's corn chowder.
When we lived in Starkville, my husband, Pepper, and I would go to Harvey’s Restaurant in Starkville every Monday because potato soup was the soup of the day. It is always served with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and green onions on top. We think about Harvey’s every Monday, and hate it when we think of Potato Soup Monday on a Thursday in Starkville for lunch.
But this fall, I may try a new potato Soup recipe just to mix things up a little.
Hearty potato soup
6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, chopped
6 celery ribs, chopped
8 cups water
1 onion, chopped
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups 2 percent milk
In a Dutch oven, cook the potatoes, carrots and celery in water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid and setting vegetables aside. In the same pan, sauté onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Gently stir in cooked vegetables. Add one cup or more of reserved cooking liquid until soup is desired consistency. Yields eight to 10 servings or about about 2-1/2 quarts.
I will share more fall soup recipes next week. Have a favorite? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.