Craving Comfort -- It's All About The Soup

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Did you know that soup is considered to be one of the first fast foods? It's true. The history of soup is closely intertwined with the history of cooking, and among the earliest was a version that combined peas, lentils and beans for a quick and easy meal. Since then, soup has evolved into a mealtime favorite that is everything from quick and easy to sophisticated and elegant. During the cold nights of winter, a bowl of hot, nourishing soup will warm you up and satisfy those comfort-seeking taste buds.

Wondering where to get started to make a soup from scratch? More than 83 percent of homemade soups feature broth as a base to create a deliciously satisfying dish.

The makers of Swanson Broth know that soup is a wonderful treat, 12 months of the year, which is why they are offering some of their favorite homemade soup recipes.

Sensational Chicken Noodle Soup is a classic and quick soup recipe that only takes 25 minutes from stovetop to table, but tastes like it took all day. It starts with the secret ingredient, Swanson Chicken Broth, and combines fresh celery, carrots and black pepper with, of course, chicken and noodles to create a timeless soup full of flavor.

If it's something a bit more substantial you're in the mood for, prepare Hearty Beef Barley Soup. A meal in itself, this soup begins with Swanson Beef Broth and is seasoned with thyme, garlic and mushrooms. With the addition of sirloin steak, this soup delivers a hearty and tasty meal in every spoonful.

For a soup chock-full of fresh vegetable flavors, start with Swanson Vegetable Broth and incorporate leeks, carrots, celery, turnips and white kidney beans to create Winter Vegetable Bean Soup With Pesto. A simple, homemade pesto offers an unexpected touch to this hot and hearty dish.

While the definition of "fast food" has changed over the centuries, soup is certainly a quick and versatile one-pot wonder. So, when you're craving comfort, treat yourself to a bowl of this wholesome fast food. For more recipes, visit www.swansonbroth.com.

Hearty Lasagna Soup

Preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings

1 pound ground beef

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2, 14-ounce cans Swanson Seasoned Beef Broth with Onion

1, 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed

1-1/2 cups uncooked mafalda or corkscrew-shaped pasta

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook beef and garlic in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until beef is well browned, stirring often. Pour off fat.

Stir broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning into skillet. Heat to a boil.

Stir in pasta. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in cheese. Serve with additional cheese if desired.

Winter Vegetable Bean Soup with Pesto

Preparation time: 25 minutes; cooking time 30 minutes. Makes 10 servings

2 medium carrots, diced

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Winter vegetable Bean Soup with Pesto

3 medium potatoes, peeled

1 medium turnip, peeled and diced

2 large leeks, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

5 -1/4 cups Swanson Vegetable Broth (regular or Certified Organic)

1, 19-ounce can white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Easy Basil Pesto (recipe follows)

Heat carrots, potatoes, turnip, leeks, celery and 1-3/4 cups broth in large saucepot over medium-high heat to a boil.

Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.

Reserve 1/2 cup broth for Easy Basil Pesto. Stir remaining broth, beans, bay leaf and red pepper into saucepot. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf. Serve topped with Easy Basil Pesto.

Easy Basil Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup reserved broth from Winter Vegetable Bean Soup

Combine all ingredients in a food processor bowl or blender jar. Cover and process until smooth.

Sensational Chicken Noodle Soup

Preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time: 25 minutes. Makes 4 servings

4 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)

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Sensational Chicken Noodle Soup

Generous dash ground black pepper

1 medium carrot, sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

1/2 cup uncooked extra wide egg noodles

1 cup shredded cooked chicken or turkey

Heat broth, pepper, carrot and celery in medium saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil.

Stir in noodles and chicken. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 10 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Variations:

For Asian Soup: Add 2 green onions cut into 1/2-inch pieces; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon ground ginger and 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Substitute uncooked curly Asian noodles for egg noodles.

For Mexican Soup: Add 1/2 cup Pace Chunky Salsa; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1 cup rinsed and drained black beans and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Substitute 2 corn tortillas (4 or 6-inch) cut into thin strips for noodles, adding just before serving.

For Italian Tortellini Soup: Add 1 can (about 14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed and 1 cup spinach leaves. Substitute 1/2 cup frozen cheese tortellini for egg noodles. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Savory Lentil Soup

Preparation time: 25 minutes; cooking time: 35 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 fennel bulb, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

4 medium Italian plum tomatoes, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 bay leaf

8 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)

1, 16-ounce bag dried lentils, rinsed

2 cups coarsely chopped watercress

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat oil in large saucepot over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, carrot and celery and cook until tender.

Stir in tomatoes, garlic, red pepper, bay leaf, broth and lentils. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Discard bay leaf.

Stir in watercress and cook 2 minutes. Serve with cheese, if desired.

Hearty Beef Barley Soup

Preparation time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 40 minutes. Makes 4 servings

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Hearty Beef and Barley Soup

2 cups water

1/4 cup uncooked pearl barley

1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak or top round steak, cut into 1-inch cubes

6 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

4 cups Swanson Beef Broth (regular, 50% Less Sodium or Certified Organic)

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

Generous dash ground black pepper

2 medium carrots, sliced

Heat water in medium saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Add barley. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 40 minutes or until barley is tender, stirring occasionally. Drain.

Cook beef in 3-quart nonstick saucepot until well browned, stirring often.

Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms are tender.

Stir in broth, thyme, black pepper and carrots. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until carrots are tender. Stir in barley.

Tip: Substitute 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley for pearl barley. Cook 12 minutes (or according to package directions) or until barley is tender.

Sausage and Spinach Soup

Preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time: 20 minutes. Makes 5 servings

Vegetable cooking spray

1/2 pound sweet Italian pork sausage, cut into 3/4-inch slices

4 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, sliced

2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves

Spray medium saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat 1 minute. Add sausage and cook until well-browned, stirring often. Pour off fat.

Stir in broth, oregano, onion and carrot. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in spinach and cook 1 minute more.

All materials courtesy of: Swanson Broth

From Family Features

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