What You Can Find at Home Soup

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That is what my mom always called this hearty soup. It has so many variations and it never disappoints. Basically, you search through your fridge or pantry to see what you have on hand. It is raining, the baby is sleeping and I have zero desire to hit the store! The Cowboss and Top Ranch Hand are also going to have the Wolfpack football practice tonight in the rain. So, I figured, I better make them a good warm meal that can fight off any cold! Important note: Feel free to substitute for the veggies you don’t have from my list. Really, any veggies that you like will do.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery chopped
  • 4 big carrots chopped
  • 1/2 cauliflower small florets
  • 1 corn or 1/2 bag of frozen corn
  • 4 medium size potatoes cubed
  • 1 3T Ranch ham hog
  • parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to sauté the veggies

Directions:

Sauté onion, celery, carrots, cauliflower until translucent. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to the veggies. (I usually add just one teaspoon of nutmeg and taste it again before the soup is done, if it needs the additional teaspoon. The nutmeg will bring out the flavor). Add the flour and constantly stir for about a minute until the veggies are all coated. Now it is the time to add the milk. Stir as you are pouring the milk in. The liquid will thicken.  Pour in the stock and water, stir to make sure you don’t have any lumps. Include potatoes and cauliflower into the liquid. Time for the star of the show the ham hog. It will add so much flavor and some meat will also fall off into the soup. You can peel of the meat from the bone when the soup is done. Cook on low to medium heat  for about 45 minutes. Check for seasoning. Depending on the type of your stock, you may need to add more salt. This would be a good time to add the additional teaspoon of nutmeg, if needed. Garnish with parsley. Dobrou chut!

Wonton Shrimp Soup

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It is chilly outside and hot steamy soup sounded like a great idea. We are big fans of Costco and their recently added organic products. During our last snack time outing to Costco, we have discovered frozen organic wontons. Not only, are they a delicious snack on its own, but including a few of them into this tasty soup sounded too good not to try it. Here is the recipe:

  • 15 wontons
  • 20 shrimp
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 Napa cabbage (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 pkg Yakisoba noodles (any Chinese noodles will do) Costco sells ready to serve Yakisoba noodles
  • 1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 chicken bullion cube
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Pepper, salt to taste

Saute onion, carrots, Napa cabbage and garlic in canola and sesame oil until translucent. Add crumbled bullion cube and water, cook for about 10 minutes to develop flavors. During this time, pan fry your wontons (per pkg instructions). I find the wontons to hold up better in the soup, if they are pan fried first and then included in the soup. Pan fry your shrimp in butter or oil (your choice). Time to assemble the soup. Put wontons and chopped cilantro into the soup to heat through for about 2 minutes. Pour soup into bowls, shrimp goes right on top along with extra garnish of cilantro. “Dobrou chut!”