Even though I could have slept in this morning, I was up before dawn so I could enjoy the view of the sun hitting the snow covered mountain. I love the peace and quiet of this season.
Danny is a lot like me. When he woke up early this morning he stood and just looked at the beautiful winter snow scape and said softly, with awe, and mostly to himself, "I love winter." I'm a teacher, and no small part of my winter bliss is that I get to stay home on the snowiest days. But, really I'd be happy even if school wasn't closed. I just love snow.
Snow days call for warm, easy meals. If we're home during the winter it's likely that soup will be on the menu. Here are two easy, kid friendly soup recipes. As an extra bonus, you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry and freezer so you don't have to fight your way through the lines at the grocery store to make them.
There are lots of variations of this soup. I've made it two ways recently (slightly different both times because of what I had on hand).
For a meat version:
- brown 1 lb. of ground beef in a Dutch oven and drain the fat
- Then add taco seasoning mix (whatever amount you would use to make taco filling)
2 cans of beans (black and/or pinto work well)
2 quarts of tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
2 cups of frozen corn
1/2 c. of frozen chopped green peppers
hot chili peppers and salt to taste
Simmer until thickened to the consistency you'd like. If you have it, serve topped with tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.
If you want to make a vegetarian version just pull out a big soup pot, add all of the ingredients and substitute vegi crumbles for the meat - no browning involved.
Chickenless Noodle SoupThis one came from a fellow teacher friend (Thanks Lisa!)
Sauté chopped half onion + 1 clove garlic + 2-3 stalks celery (leaves and yellow stalks are the BEST!) and then add 4 cups water + 3 bouillon cubes + bay leaf + dried parsley. Optional: Add 1 c. of frozen corn. Simmer. Turn heat off and add egg noodles. EAT when noodles are done! YUMMY!
Note: I added a carrot, and I didn't have a onion so I added onion powder instead. Still delicious and perfect after a day in the cold.
Side Note: I got a pressure canner for Christmas. Since then I've made three big batches (think stock pot size) of soup - pea, ten bean and ham barley respectively - and I've canned them all. It took a little while to get used to how to use the pressure canner, but overall I've loved the experience. What I really need are recipes. If you have any tried and true pressure canner recipes please share. The book that came with the canner came with many recipes, but most of them were for things my family just won't be eating. Pigs feet or blood pudding anyone?