Get Out The Soup Pot

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Photo courtesy of Taste of Home’s Cooking for 2

Slow Cooker Chili, at left, Corn Leek Chowder and Chili with Corn Bread Topping are sure-fire hits to warm cooling nights arriving with the coming of autumn.

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Photo courtesy of Taste of Home magazine

An easy dessert, such as this Cappuccino Parfait, is the perfect ending to a meal featuring a warm soup, stew or chili and homemade bread.

Autumn arrived Sept. 22 this year. While we are blessed with some of our best weather and temperatures at this time of year in the Rim Country, the nights are just right for a great bowl of soup, stew or chili and some nice, warm bread.

With the permission of the great folks at Taste of Home’s Cooking for 2 magazine, here are a few fabulous recipes to fit the bill for a fall night.

Freezer Biscuits

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus freezing

Bake time: 15 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

3 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 egg

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk egg and milk; stir into dry ingredients until just moistened.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 20 times and roll out to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with floured 3-inch biscuit cutter.

Arrange biscuits in a single layer in an ungreased 13-inch-by-9-inch-by-2-inch pan. Cover and freeze overnight, or until frozen. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to two months.

To use frozen biscuits: Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, place frozen biscuits on sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Entire recipe makes 8 biscuits.

Slow Cooker Chili

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 8 hours

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 garlic clove, minced

1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons chili powder

dash hot pepper sauce

In a small skillet, cook the beef, onion, green pepper, celery and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Drain.

Transfer to a 1-1/2-quart slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Makes 4 cups.

Chili with Corn Bread Topping

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes

1/3 pound lean ground beef

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 (15-ounce) can chili with beans

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup corn bread/muffin mix

3 tablespoons 2 percent milk

2 tablespoons beaten egg

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup frozen corn, thawed

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in chili and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into two, 2-cup baking dishes.

In a small bowl, combine the corn bread mix, milk and egg. Stir in cheese and corn just until combined. Spread batter evenly over chili.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Makes 2 servings.

Corn Leek Chowder

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

2 cups chopped leeks (white portion only)

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1-1/2 cups peeled potatoes, cubed

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dill weed

3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon cold water

1/2 cup half-and-half cream

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, sauté the leeks, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the broth, potatoes and dill; cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender.

Stir in corn and pepper; cook 2 minutes longer. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in cream. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

Garnish each serving with a tablespoon of cheese. Makes 4 cups.

Creamy Carrot-Parsnip Soup

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

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

2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced

2 medium carrots, sliced

1 small potato, peeled and sliced

1 rib of celery, sliced

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup half-and-half cream

In a small saucepan, combine the broth, parsnips, carrots, potato, celery, onion and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove half the vegetables to a bowl; cover and keep warm.

Cool remaining vegetables for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a blender, cover and process for 30 seconds. Add cream; process until blended. Add reserved vegetables and pulse until vegetables are chopped. Return all to saucepan and heat through. Makes 4 cups.

Spinach Cheese Soup

Total time for preparation and cooking: 15 minutes

1 cup chicken broth

1 (6-ounce) package fresh, baby spinach, chopped

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon pepper

4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a small saucepan, combine the broth, spinach, onion powder and pepper. Bring to a boil. Combine flour and milk until smooth; gradually add to soup. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Makes 2 servings.

Cappuccino Parfaits

Total time for preparation:

20 minutes

2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1-1/2 teaspoons hot water

3/4 cup cold 2 percent milk

1/3 cup instant chocolate pudding mix (not sugar-free)

1/2 cup whipped topping

1/4 cup cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

In a small bowl, dissolve coffee granules and cinnamon in hot water; set aside. In another bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping and coffee mixture.

In each of two parfait glasses, layer 3 tablespoons of pudding mixture, 2 teaspoons of cookie crumbs and 1-1/2 teaspoons of walnuts. Repeat layers. Top each glass with 2 tablespoons of pudding mixture and 2 teaspoons of crumbs. Makes 2 servings.

Recipes and photos provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine. Find more great recipes at www.tasteofhome.com.

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