Today’s focus for Favorite Ingredient Friday is on Quick and Easy meals. To me, especially in cooler weather, soup can be one of the quickest and easiest meals there is. If one needs to be really, really quick, heating up a can of vegetable or tomato soup and making grilled cheese sandwiches is my best advice. But if you have a few minutes more than that, try one of these easy soups. All you need to serve alongside is some bread or rolls which you can buy. Or you could make a loaf of bread in the bread machine which can bake all by itself and be timed to be ready when your soup is. You could also make cornbread, either from a mix or from my easy recipe; just put it in the oven before you start the soup, and it should be baked in plenty of time to be ready when the soup is. Here are the recipes:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (or use less -- even as little as 1/2 lb.)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (28 oz.) crushed or diced tomatoes
1 can (14 oz.) kidney beans, not drained
1 can (17 oz.) whole kernel corn, not drained
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 package taco seasoning
1 to 2 cups water
Shredded cheddar cheese
Crushed tortilla chips
Brown beef in large heavy kettle or Dutch oven; drain off any fat and add onions. Cook until onions are tender. Add remaining ingredients except cheese and chips; simmer for 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls; top with shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips, to taste.
Yield: 4-6 servings.
This simple recipe has been a lifesaver for me so many times!
1 pound ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2 c. beef broth (use a can, or use 2 c. water with 2 bouillon cubes)
2 c. water
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
5 Tblsp. alphabet macaroni
Parsley if desired
In a soup pot, cook the first 3 ingredients together over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until the beef is browned well and the onion is tender. Drain off any fat.
Add the tomatoes, beef broth, water, and seasonings. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the vegetables and the pasta. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is cooked the way you like it. Stir in some chopped parsley if you like. Yield : 4 servings.
This homemade alphabet soup is delicious and so easy. It really hits the spot on a cold evening, and also makes a great lunch.
BEEF RAVIOLI SOUP
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced carrots
2 Tblsp. olive or vegetable oil
4 cups beef broth
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 15-oz. can beef ravioli
Chopped fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese
In large kettle, saute´the celery, onion, and carrots in oil for 3 minutes; add broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in ravioli and heat through. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts (4 to 6 servings)
This good and easy soup recipe came from Country Woman magazine some years ago. Makes a quick, easy supper with crusty bread or rolls!
ZESTY CHICKEN CHEESE SOUP
1 can whole kernel corn (don’t drain)
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (don’t drain)
1 small can diced green chilies (optional)
1 can premium chunk white chicken, flaked
8 ounces velveeta-type cheese, cubed
In heavy saucepan or dutch oven, combine everything except the cheese and begin heating these ingredients while you cube the cheese. Add the cheese to the saucepan and continue to heat, stirring until cheese is melted and soup is piping hot.
This recipe came from an early Quick Cooking magazine and is the fastest soup you will ever make -- just a matter of opening cans, heating and stirring -- and is also delicious!
Finally, here is my corn bread recipe for those who would like to try it.
FAVORITE CORN BREAD
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 stick melted margarine (1/2 cup) -- I sometimes use 1/4 cup oil instead of margarine
2 cups buttermilk baking mix (I use the store brand)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (I use the Hodgson Mill stone-ground brand)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch square pan. Blend eggs, milk,
and melted margarine. Sift sugar, cornmeal and baking powder together and add to egg mixture along with baking mix. (There will be some bran left in the sifter if you use the stone-ground cornmeal. Just add it into the mixture.) Whisk the ingredients together just until blended. Pour batter into greased pan and bake approximately 30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the corn bread comes out clean.
(It may take up to 40 minutes, depending on your oven.) Makes one 9-inch pan of corn bread. Recipe may be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan.
This may not be the healthiest corn bread in the world, but it may
well be the best corn bread you’ve ever tasted! Wonderful with a bowl
of chili or soup!