Fall Is A Great Time For Simmering Soups

IN THE KITCHEN

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When the air turns chilly, come home to a simmering soup. It's one of the best kinds of edible therapy for you and your family. Give that soup a satisfyingly rich flavor and creamy texture when you use a "secret" ingredient as close as your pantry.

Evaporated milk is a kitchen staple that works a special magic in recipes. Made through a process in which extra water is removed from milk, canned evaporated milk has more richness than refrigerated milk. It also has less fat than half-and-half, along with twice the amounts of calcium and protein compared to other milk or cream products.

Use evaporated milk in place of half-and-half to make recipes richer and creamier, yet lower in fat. Try adding this "slimmer cream" to your coffee, favorite fettuccine Alfredo sauce, quiche filling, custard or homemade ice cream recipe. You can also substitute regular, lowfat or fat-free evaporated milk in recipes that call for adding refrigerated milk.

When you stir this "creamier milk" into convenience products like macaroni and cheese mixes, instant mashed potatoes, instant puddings or condensed soups, you'll get a creamier flavor and texture with more homemade appeal.

Tuscan-Style Sausage and White Bean Soup

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth

1/2 to 1 pound mild Italian sausage, cooked and drained

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can cannellini (white kidney beans), undrained

Salt

Ground black pepper

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Add sausage and beans. Heat through. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Makes 8 servings.

Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup

3/4 cup water

1 (16-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

Boil water in medium saucepan. Add broccoli; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to low. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; drain. Place half of broccoli and chicken broth in food processor or blender; cover. Process until smooth.

Melt butter in same saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Add broccoli mixture and remaining chopped broccoli. Heat through. Makes 6 servings.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, divided

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, seeds removed

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Transfer onion mixture to blender container. Add red peppers; cover. Process until smooth.

Melt remaining butter in same saucepan. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in red pepper mixture, salt and pepper. Heat through. Makes 6 servings.

Cheeseburger Soup

1/2 pound ground beef

4 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided

3/4 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup shredded carrots

3/4 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth

4 cups (3 medium) peeled and diced potatoes

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups cubed pasteurized prepared cheese product

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook ground beef in large saucepan over medium heat until brown; drain. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in same saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and basil; cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until tender.

Add broth, potatoes and cooked beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Melt remaining butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings.

Recipes from Family Features, Inc.

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