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These chilly night I find myself looking for soup recipes. I try new ones every year, but more often than not, I go back to the same old favorites. Here are two of them.
The first one, Sausage-Bean Chowder, is a long-time favorite of my family. It smells absolutely wonderful when it's cooking and is really delicious. It tastes even better the second day. My dad used to like this soup so much he requested it for a Christmas present one year. I made and froze 4 quarts, and he carried it back to Illinois in a cooler, where he rationed it and made it last a long time.
Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup is another favorite of my family. You can use fresh, canned or frozen tomatoes, either chopped or pureed. We like it with a dollop of sour cream on top. I have also made it using salsa instead of plain tomatoes. Yum!
2 pounds sausage (hot or mild)
4 c. water
2 (16-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
2 (16-ounce) cans tomatoes, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large potatoes, cubed
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1 large bay leaf
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. thyme
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. black pepper
Brown sausage in kettle or Dutch oven, breaking up into small chunks; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, over very low heat for about two hours. Remove bay leaf. Makes 3 quarts. Freezes well.
Cream of Tomato Soup
1/3 c. butter or margarine
1 medium onion, minced
1/3 c. flour
4 c. milk
Salt, cracked black pepper to taste
2 c. chopped or pureed tomatoes, with juice
Melt butter in skillet or Dutch oven and saut the onions till tender. Reduce heat; add flour and mix well. Add milk gradually, while cooking and stirring, to make white sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Heat tomatoes and juice first, before adding to white sauce. (I put them in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for a minute or two.) Add to white sauce and heat through. Taste to see if it needs any more salt or pepper. Serves 6.