Soup’s on: Issaquah home cooks offer recipes

February 15, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Bernadette Anne sets out her ingredients for hamburger soup in the kitchen of her Overdale Park home. By Greg Farrar

Dish up hearty soups from home cooks to chase off the chill

Cold days call for something hot enough to steam up the windows. The solution is a crowd pleaser: Set a pot of soup to simmer to combat the gloom.

Soup is just right for wintertime. The simmering pot radiates heat. Each ladleful is the perfect pick-me-up on a frigid day. Most recipes require little tending after the initial prep.

Soup is the original set-it-and-forget-it dish. Sorry, Ron Popeil.

Though the mild Pacific Northwest climate means soup is a solid menu choice year round, late winter and early spring make for the best time to simmer a pot.

Local home cooks recommend bubbling soups to counteract the chill. Set the fuss-free recipes to simmer after the mercury drops.

So, go ahead, steam up the windows.

Hamburger soup

Hamburger soup

This stick-to-your-ribs soup is comprised of pantry staples and easy-to-find ingredients. Issaquah resident Bernadette Anne said it’s simple to make on the fly. The soup freezes easily in plastic zipper bags and is a breeze to reheat on a cold day.

Ingredients

• 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey, browned and drained

• 1/3 cup chopped onion

• 15 ounces crushed or diced tomatoes (do not drain juice)

• 29-32 ounces beef stock, preferably a low-salt or salt-free stock

• 1 handful fresh parsley

• 1 package dry onion soup mix (Lipton’s)

• 4 carrots, sliced

• 2 celery stalks, chopped

• 1/4 cup celery tops, chopped

• 1 bay leaf

• 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

• 1 package spaghetti dry seasoning mix

• 10 whole black peppercorns or 1 teaspoon pepper

• 1 cup water

• 1 large baking potato, peeled and diced (optional)

• 1 can of corn (optional)

Directions

Mix all of the ingredients in a large pot with a lid. Then, let the soup simmer for at least 30 to 45 minutes over medium heat until the potatoes and carrots soften.

New England chicken and corn chowder

New England chicken and corn chowder

Claudia Schultz ladles up a soup rich in chicken, corn and bacon on wintry nights. The recipe originated as a seafood-free alternative to the ubiquitous clam chowder. The process is simple enough for Schultz’s children to make at home. The family likes to serves the soup alongside warm sourdough bread.

Ingredients

• 6 cups chicken broth

• Meat from one rotisserie chicken shredded, bones and skin discarded

• 4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, 2 cups pureed in a blender or food processor and the other 2 cups left whole

• 3 ounces bacon, diced

Michael Shultz, 9, of May Valley, pours a bowl of diced potatoes, diced celery and chopped onions into a soup pot as his mom Claudia supervises his cooking lesson. By Greg Farrar

• 1 large onion, finely chopped

• 3 tender celery stalks, diced

• 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 1 cup half-and-half

• 1/2 cup cream (or to taste)

• Cayenne pepper to taste

• Instant mashed potato flakes

Directions

Crisp the bacon in a medium frying pan. Reserve the crisped bacon for garnish. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat if you made extra bacon for garnish. Sauté onion and celery in bacon fat until the onions and celery are light brown and tender. Add chicken meat, pureed corn, corn kernels, chicken broth and potatoes to the pot with the onions and celery. Simmer gently but steadily, partially covered, for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are almost soft. Season with salt and pepper. (The soup can be prepared in advance up to this point, and stored and covered in the refrigerator for up to two days. Return the mixture to room temperature before proceeding.) Stir in the half-and-half and cream, and simmer 10 minutes. To thicken the soup, add plain mashed potato flakes in 1/4-cup increments until the desired thickness is reached. Garnish with the reserved crisped bacon.

Lentil and sausage soup

Lentil and sausage soup

Longtime Tiger Mountain resident Lorie Graff has prepared hearty lentil and sausage soup for more than 35 years. The inspiration for the recipe came from a chef at Costas Opa Greek Restaurant in Seattle. Graff likes to serve the soup alongside a baguette.

Ingredients

• 1 pound of lentils

• 2 quarts of cold water

• 1 medium onion, sliced

• 1 clove of garlic, crushed

• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

• 2 teaspoons sea salt

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 28-ounce can of chopped tomatoes

• 2 bay leaves

• 4 Italian sausages, sweet or hot

• Red wine vinegar

Directions

Wash and drain lentils. Place in a large soup kettle or Dutch oven. Add the water and all of the other ingredients, except the sausages and red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. As the soup simmers, brown sausages in frying pan and turn often until cooked. Cut cooked sausages into six pieces each, and add to soup at the end of cooking. Add a dash of red wine vinegar to the soup after dishing into individual bowls.

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