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Warm up this winter with these savory soups

Now that winter has arrived in our area, we are all spending a bit more time inside looking for ways to warm up after battling the colder temperatures and snow outside. A great way feel satisfied and fill your appetite is with a hot bowl of soup.

Today I'm sharing a couple of my favorite hearty soup recipes that are sure to warm you up. The recipes are: Vegetable Beef Soup with Dumplings and Knoephla Soup. Get your soup kettles out and ready to go!

These recipes are tried and true family recipes that my Mom used to make for our family when we were growing up. They will make large batches, which was always a good thing in our family as there were three of us boys and Dad. These soups are definitely filling and very delicious. I've even enjoyed making these recipes for my friends and family.

I'm also going to add in an extra special treat that everyone will love - dumplings! This dumpling recipe has a long tradition in our family, going all the way back to my Grandma Foss.

Vegetable Beef Soup

3 pounds beef soup bones (meaty) - you can also use 2 ½ to 3 pounds of stew meat (cubed), however the beef soup bones do add more flavor.

1 (1 pint 2 oz) can tomato juice (or tomato sauce)

½ cup chopped onion

4 tsp. salt

3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp. chili powder

2 bay leaves

1 large can tomatoes

2 cups diced celery

3 cups sliced carrots

4 cups diced potatoes

Combine meat, tomato juice, onion and seasonings with 10 cups water in a soup kettle. Cover & simmer for 2 hours. Cool & refrigerate for several hours or overnight until grease hardens on top and can be spooned off. Cut meat from bones. Add meat and vegetables and more water to cover vegetables. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Then add Dumplings:

1 egg beaten

2/3 cup milk

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. baking powder

1 cup flour

Mix the dumpling ingredients well and drop by tablespoonfuls on top of boiling soup. Cover and simmer an additional 12 to 15 minutes and enjoy!

The next recipe I'm sharing today is a bit easier to make and a favorite in this region! Many of us have some German heritage and even those of you who don't will still enjoy this soup recipe.

Knoephla Soup

4-5 medium potatoes (diced)

1 small onion, chopped

2 carrots, grated

1 can cream of chicken soup

One 2 pound package of frozen Baker Boy Dumpling Dough

3-4 chicken bouillon cubes

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 pint (half & half) cream

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large soup kettle. Add salt, potatoes, onion and carrots. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until tender. Add cream of chicken soup, bay leaf and pepper. Heat to simmering and then add ¾ package of dumpling dough pieces (thawed) and bring to a boil, add bouillon cubes. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until dough is tender. Add 1 pint half & half at end and heat to just below simmering. Serve and enjoy!