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Savory, piping hot soup warms up mealtime

January is National Soup Month, and with our cold, cold temperatures, nothing is better than a piping hot bowl of soup at mealtime, whether it's for lunch or as the main staple at dinnertime.

This week, I'm featuring a variety of soup recipes sure to appeal to everyone's tastes and senses, many of which are crockpot material, making daily meal planning even easier.

I've prepared most of these several times in my own kitchen to rave reviews, and a few are new recipes I've recently clipped, that I'm extremely anxious to try.

The Crockpot Hamburger Soup is easy and delicious. The Yummy Potato Soup is also a personal favorite I've concocted myself and shared many times with family and guests. I like to vary this recipe by substituting chicken soup for the water as the base, but either works fine. Many refer to it as knoepla soup, but the dumpling recipe is a little bit different.

The French Onion soup is also awesome, and oh so conveniently easy once you have the onions sautéed. Since this recipe goes in the crockpot, it's important not to over sauté your onions to begin with. This soup is great served as a segue to a main course or as a warming supper in itself paired with a salad, crusty bread and fruit.

If any of you have any personally favorite soup recipes you'd like to share, I'd love to have them. I will be featuring another 'soup only' column this winter, and would be pleased to include them.

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

Crockpot Hamburger Soup

1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained

2 cups canned tomatoes

8 oz. tomato sauce

2 cups water

One large package frozen vegetables or canned vegetables (I use mixed)

1 package dry onion soup mix

Mix all ingredients and cook on low in crockpot.

Beer Cheese Soup

½ cup melted butter

1 cup flour

1 ½ cups half and half

3 cups chicken broth

1 (16 oz.) jar Cheese Whiz

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

¾ cup beer

Stir one cup flour into melted butter until well blended. Add 1 ½ cups of half and half and stir constantly. Add chicken broth, Cheese Whiz, Worcestershire sauce and beer.

Heat through and serve with croutons.

Corn Chowder

6 slices of bacon, diced

½ cup chopped onions

2 cups diced, peeled potatoes

2 10-oz. packages frozen corn

16-oz. can cream style corn

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. seasoned salt

¼ tsp. pepper

Brown bacon in skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and reserve drippings. Add onions and potatoes to skillet and sauté five minutes. Drain. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Ten Minute Tomato Soup

2 cups crushed canned tomatoes

½ tsp. baking soda

2 cups whole milk

2 tbsp. butter or margarine

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat tomatoes until boiling. Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients. Return to heat and cook on medium until butter is melted and the soup is heated through.

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

½ large green pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

8 cups beef broth

2 cans (14 ½ ounces each) Italian stewed tomatoes

1 package (9 oz.) frozen cut green beans

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 cup ditalini or other small pasta

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. pepper

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook the beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables and pasta are tender.

Creamy Clam Chowder

1 large onion, chopped

3 mediums carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, sliced

¾ cup butter, cubed

2 cans (10 ¾ ounces each) condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted

3 cans (6 ½ ounces each) minced clams

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1 quart half and half cream

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, carrots and celery in butter until tender. Stir in the potato soup and two cans of undrained clams. Drain and discard the juice from the remaining can of clams; add clams to soup.

Combine cornstarch and a small amount of the half and half until smooth. Stir into soup. Add the remaining half and half. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened.

Chicken Soup with Potato Dumplings

¼ cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

6 cups chicken broth

2 cups cubed, cooked chicken

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 medium carrots, sliced

¼ tsp. dried sage leaves


½ cup Bisquick baking mix

1 cup cold mashed potatoes (with added milk)

¼ cup milk

1 tbsp. chopped green onion

1/8 tsp. pepper

In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in oil for 3-4 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in the broth, chicken, celery, carrots and sage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

In a small bowl, combine the dumpling ingredients. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto simmering soup. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean. (Don't lift cover while simmering.)

White Chili

1 pound skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch cubes

1 medium onion, chopped

1 ½ tsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cans (15 ½ ounce each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14 ½ ounce) chicken broth

2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

½ cup heavy whipping cream

In a large saucepan, sauté chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in sour cream and heavy whipping cream. Garnish with shredded cheese if so desired.

Yummy Potato Soup

8 medium potatoes

1 medium onion, diced

1 pint of cream

½ stick of butter

Salt and pepper to taste


Peel and dice the potatoes and onion and place in large kettle. Add enough water to cover. Bring to boil and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.


1 cup flour

1 egg

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ to ½ cup milk

Dash of salt

Put all these ingredients in a bowl. Add a little milk at a time and stir. Keep adding milk until you have a thick batter. Drop by small globs off your spoon into kettle of boiling water and boil gently for about four minutes or until done. Drain and add to your potato soup mixture. (If you want more dumplings, double your recipe.)

Then pour in your pint of cream and add about a half stick of butter and salt and pepper to taste. If it is too thick, add a little milk or half and half to thin it out. Delicious!

Rich French Onion Soup

6 large onions, chopped

½ cup butter

6 cans (10 ½ ounces each) condensed beef broth, diluted

1 ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 bay leaves

10 slices French bread, toasted

Shredded Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses

Sauté onions in butter in large skillet until crisp-tender. Transfer to an ungreased 5-quart slow cooker. Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Cook on low for 5-7 hours or until the onions are tender. Discard bay leaves. Top each serving with the French bread and cheeses.