Stuffed Potato Soup, Soup Beans and Skillet Cornbread, and…Chicken Soup With Homemade Noodles:

Well guys, cold weather is beginning to show itself again. Much more so for you “Northerners!” I personally consider a “Northerner” say, from Tallahassee on up!

So, I don’t know about the rest of you, but this time of the year means we’ll start eating more soups. Deb and I both enjoy most types of soups, stews and chili, and one of the best attributes of a good ole pot of soup is simply…the more you re-heat it, the better flavored they are!

Add to the mix a big ole slice of cornbread, or maybe a “cathead biscuit” or two, and well…it don’t get much better than that, wouldn’t you agree? Throw in a small garden salad to boot, and you won’t get much conversation at all from me while at the dinner table. Basically, you talk…I’ll eat!

We do like a small salad with our soup, but many soups have all you need already in the pot. This in itself means convenience to a working family. One pot, one small mess to cleanup, one time cooking besides just rewarming and shoot, you can do that in the microwave.

You could put them on to cook in a crock pot, and by the time you get home, there she is…a meal waiting to be et! Then, if you’d like, put the leftovers in a zip lock bag, or food saver bag, and freeze for a later time!

Before we get started with our recipes, we got a good joke from Bill and Sandy.
Yes, they’re the same two that had me eatin crow after the Florida-Bama game…anyway, here’s the joke!

Two good ol’ boys in a Tennessee trailer park were sitting around talking one afternoon over a cold beer after getting off of work at the local Nissan plant. After a while the 1st guy says to the 2nd, “If’n I was to sneak over to your trailer Saturday & make love to your wife while you was off huntin’ and she got pregnant and had a baby, would that make us kin?”

The 2nd guy crooked his head sideways for a minute, scratched his head, and squinted his eyes thinking real hard about the question. Finally, he says, “Well, I don’t know about kin, but it would make us even!”

The recipes today come from, “At My Grandmother’s Knee,” by Faye Porter, and published by Thomas Nelson, Nashville, Tennessee.

The book is well received by both Deb and I, and has little individual stories from the contributing families. To us, we feel it is a good read, with numerous, good recipes between the covers…

Stuffed Potato Soup:

  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  • ¼ chopped onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cans (10.75 ounces each) cream of chicken soup
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion salt
  • 6 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • Sliced green onion tops (optional, though not to me…the onion tops go in it! Dub)
  • Crumbled bacon (optional…ditto, same as the green onion tops…put em in it! Dub)

In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine 1 cup of water, the bouillon cubes, and the onion and simmer for 30 minutes.

In a large saucepan combine the 3 remaining cups of water, the milk, the cream of chicken soup, garlic powder, and onion salt. Cook over low heat until the soup is creamy and any lumps have been stirred out.

Pour the soup mixture into the Dutch oven with the bouillon and onion mixture. Add the potatoes and cook over medium heat. When the potatoes are almost done, add the cheese. Remove from the heat so the cheese doesn’t stick. Once the cheese has substantially melted, return the pot to low heat and simmer until you are ready to serve. Top with sliced green onions tops or bacon, if desired.

Jenny Lewis…Nashville, Tennessee

Soup Beans and Skillet Cornbread:

The Soup…

  • 1 one pound package of dried pinto beans
  • 1 ham hock
  • 5-1/2 cups of water
  • 4 slices hickory-smoked bacon
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided

Soak the beans overnight in water and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Drain the beans and rinse with cold water.

Place the beans and ham hock in a large pot and cover with 5-1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Cook for about 2 hours, stirring frequently. Make sure the beans stay covered with water. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper to season as you cook.

Fry the bacon until done and save the drippings. Crumble the bacon and add to the soup mixture, along with the drippings. Cook an additional 60 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently.

The Cornbread:

  • 6 slices thick bacon (save the grease)
  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup of water

Preheat your oven to 450. Fry the bacon in a cast iron skillet. Keep the grease warm in the skillet after frying the bacon. Set the bacon aside for another use. Place the cornmeal, flour, eggs, buttermilk, water, and half of the bacon grease in a large bowl and stir until the mixture is the consistency of cake batter. Add more water, if needed. You want just enough grease left in the skillet to coat the bottom and the sides; if you have too much pour the extra out.

Pour the batter into the skillet. Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, checking often. Remove from the oven and slice immediately.

When ready to eat, ladle the soup into individual bowls. Crumble a slice of hot cornbread into each bowl, mix, and serve.

Michelle Fleming…Nashville, Tennessee

Chicken Soup With Homemade Noodles:

The Noodles…

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 large egg, beaten

To make the noodles, mix the flour and salt in a small bowl, making a well in the center. Add the water and egg. Using your fingers, form the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit for 60 minutes.

**To finish the noodles, go to the very bottom of the soup recipe…

The Soup…

  • 1 chicken (3 pounds), cut-up
  • ½ cup chopped onion, divided
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup celery
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced

To make the soup, rinse the raw chicken well. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine the chicken with ¼ cup of the onions, the bouillon cubes, bay leaf, pepper, and enough hot water to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken and chop in into bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Skim any grease off the top of the broth and add enough water to measure 7 to 8 cups. Add the chicken pieces, celery, carrots, and remaining ¼ cup of onion. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the carrots are crisp-tender. Remove the bay leaf.

**Now finish your noodles. Roll out the dough as thin as possible on a floured work surface. Fold it loosely into thirds and then cut it into ½ inch slices. Unfold the dough and cut on the former fold lines. Drop the dough into the simmering soup. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes or, until the noodles are tender.

Debby White…White House, Tennessee

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