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Eating Well: Cooler temperatures means soup's on

West Fargo Pioneer file photo

With the cooler temperatures and stronger winds upon us, I've heard a lot of friends say wouldn't some homemade soup be good?

I couldn't agree more and this week, I'm sharing a few easy slow cook versions, along with a "pulled beef" that makes the perfect sandwich accompaniment, and a decadently, delicious chocolate cake recipe, that rounds out the meal.

The "Creamy Potato Soup" is so easy. The most difficult part was chopping the onion, and adding the cream cheese at the end. The end result is deliciously creamy and definitely a 'make again' meal.

The "Cheesy Wild Rice Soup" is also scrumptious; as is the Italian beef roast, which could easily be served on a Kaiser roll and smothered with Philly cheese steak toppings, i.e. sautéed peppers, green onions and provolone cheese - yummy!

"The Triple Mess Chocolate" cake is every bit as gooey, rich and as good as its name implies. You might want to experiment with this one and throw in a few extra ingredients, i.e. nuts, coconut or a jar of marshmallow cream poured over the cake after it is done cooking and still hot. This cake is meant to be served warm out of the crockpot, so when you make it, be sure to plan your meal time accordingly, so the cake is ready when it's time for dessert to be served.

Hope you enjoy.

Until next time, from my kitchen to yours, happy baking!

Creamy Potato Soup

1 (30 ounce) bag frozen hash brown potatoes

3 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (10.75) ounce can cream of chicken soup

½ cup chopped onion

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

Garnish: minced green onion

Combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion and pepper in 6-quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low for five hours. Stir in cream cheese and cook another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined. Garnish with the green onions, if desired.

Cheesy Wild Rice Soup

1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed

1 pound bacon cut into small pieces, browned and drained

2 ½ cups milk

1 pint half and half

1 cup of cooked wild rice

1/3 cup finely chopped onions

2 cans cream of potato soup

Place everything in crockpot, cook on low until cheese is melted and onion is cooked and heated through. Also, may be cooked on stovetop over low heat.

Italian Roast

1 sirloin tip roast (about 4 pounds)

1 can beef broth

1 package dry Good Seasons Italian Dressing

Pour beef broth over roast and sprinkle package of dressing over the top. Put in crockpot and cook on low all day. Slice roast and let cook in juice for the last ½ hour before serving. Serve with or on buns.

Triple Chocolate Mess

Made in crockpot

1 package chocolate cake mix

1 pint sour cream

1 small bag chocolate chips

1 small package instant chocolate pudding, dry

¾ cups oil

4 eggs

1 cup water

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. Mix all ingredients well for about two minutes. Pour into crockpot. Cook on low for five to six hours. Serve in bowl with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 10-12.