I am not a fan of winter. It’s cold, windy, cold AND windy at the same time, and being that we live in Nebraska instead of Texas, we are more prone to snow/ice. There are only a handful of things I like about winter, and most revolve around Christmas (i.e., cookies, lights, carols, etc.). The one non-Christmas item that I always look forward to in the winter is soup. It’s just not the same to pour yourself a hot bowl of soup when it’s 90 degrees outside and you’re sitting with the air conditioning on high. As a rule of thumb, soup should always be warmer than the outside temperature.
Soups are also great because you can put them in a crockpot and let them cook all day, or you can put on a stove top, do other things while it cooks, and an hour later you can eat! I love the idea of a soup cooking all day, but truth-be-told, I usually am not on top of my game enough to do anything that cook on a stove top an hour or two before we eat dinner. Even so, I feel like I’ve honed in on a couple different soup recipes that have been winners in the Watley household.
1) Plain old, regular Chili – Come on, there are really no rules with this type of soup! You can make it vegetarian without meat or you can pack the thing full of it (my brother Grant used to cook chili with beef, ground sausage, sausage links AND bacon). I don’t have an actual recipe for this, but I know all the basics that I use.
*Mrs. Grimes Original Chili Beans
*Johnsonville Sausages (cooked separately and cut up into bite size pieces)
*Chili Powder (usually I put in enough to cover the top of the soup in the pot).
*Other Options I’ve Used – diced habanero, kidney beans, cannellini beans
2) Cheesy Ham and Potato – I don’t think I had a soup like this until one Christmas Eve while I was in high school (soup is a Christmas Eve tradition in the Watley household). I’ve made it numerous times since, and haven’t had a bad batch yet (fingers crossed!).
*32 oz. of chicken broth/stock (honestly, I don’t really know the difference)
*1 bag of frozen hash brown potatoes
*1 bag of shredded cheese (I’ve done cheddar and colby jack before)
*1 package of diced ham (real ham is better)
*White Sauce (butter/flour/milk)
Anyway, looking at the 10 day forecast, it seems like there are some good soup days coming up, so feel free to take a stab at these two. If I can make it, you definitely can! There are probably two other soup recipes that I have in my arsenal, but I would say the above are staples when I’m in-charge of dinner (easy, quick and delicious).