Souped-up soups are perfect for settling back in a folding chair and watching all the hot rods go by.
For those car-gating this week along U.S. 90 and other roadways, a pot of soup made in an RV or over a grill is a no-fuss meal. Who wants to maintain watch over food when there are so many beautiful cars to see?
These soups require minimal ingredients and few spices, so they will not cause viewers to miss anything except a fast food meal or two. Any vegetables in the soups can be chopped ahead of time and simply dumped in the pot so the party can continue.
It is officially fall, and one of my mainstays during this season is soup. Honestly, I love soup year-round. I enjoy cold soups in the spring and summer, and when school starts, soup’s on again.
Soup also is good for those pesky colds and sinus infections. It is soothing and comforting.
Last week, my daughter and granddaughter were both ill with upper respiratory infections. What did both want? Yes, soup.
We had a breakthrough in our picky eater’s palate; she loves egg drop soup. Pardon me while I do a happy dance.
Her mom asked for baked potato soup and Lilly, egg drop soup, so out came two soup pots, one a 5-quart, the other a 3-quart.
“Aren’t you going to the Chinese restaurant for my soup?” asked my too-smart granddaughter.
“No, I am going to make it,” I said. “It is an easy soup. Do you want to crack the egg?”
She was sure that her grandmother could not make soup like restaurants do. “Do you know what to put in it?”
I told her I did, and it would be fresh without any preservatives, just broth, seasoning and egg. I knew not to add the untouchable “green stuff” or green onions.
Since egg drop cooks quickly and she was hungry, I started Lilly’s first. It was so easy and flavorful. It would have been better with the onions, but you win some and lose some.
Still not convinced that Mamie knew how to make the soup, Lilly cast a wary eye when I ladled it into the bowl.
“It looks different,” she said.
Yes, I thought. It was made to order.
Well, after coercing, she tasted it and ate it, but she was skeptical.
My daughter needed no coaxing now, wouldn’t eat potato soup until a few years ago.
ANGELO’S RED SAUCE, PLEASE
Leslie Sivak of Diamondhead would like the recipe for the old Angelo’s restaurant’s spaghetti sauce. I have to search my files because I do have a similar one. I know some of you readers do, too.
“I ate it a few times, and liked that the sauce was thick and rich and stuck to the spaghetti,” Sivak said. “I have never attempted to make red sauce from scratch; I use canned.”
EASY GUMBO, TOO
Sivak also would like an easy gumbo recipe that is easy to follow, not too spicy and does not contain okra, which she does not like.
“I grew up East European food, what most people on the Coast would call bland,” she said.
MORE HELP NEEDED
“My mother and I used to dine at the Landing Restaurant in Gulfport. Our favorite meal was their fried vegetables with the best dipping sauce,” said Darlene Nelson. “I have tried to re-create the sauce, but not quite got it down. It tasted like it had a mustard (Creole), garlic, sour cream, maybe mayonnaise.
“Do you have this recipe in your stash or know of somewhere I could find it? The restaurant was located on the beach at U.S. 49 and U.S. 90, Nelson said. “I believe the owner was Tom Simmons. Thanks for any help!”
I don’t remember the Landing, so readers I need your help. Please tell me about this restaurant, and if you know what the dipping sauce was.
FIESTA SALAD WITH LIME, PLEASE
Readers, if you have a recipe for a fiesta salad made with lime and avocados, please share it.
Andrea Yeager can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Cooks Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.
EGG DROP SOUP
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch, optional
2 teaspoons water, optional
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon salt, optional
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
In small saucepan, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a boil. If using, stir together the cornstarch and water to dissolve cornstarch; pour into the boiling broth. Stir soup gently while you pour into the egg. Season with chives, salt and pepper before serving.
BAKED POTATO SOUP
8 slices of bacon
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
7 cups milk (I use 2 percent)
4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Microwave bacon until crisp, but not burned. Pat dry of any excess fat. Crumble and set aside.
In stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly, until thickened. Stir in potatoes and onions. Bring to boil, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Mix in bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently. If flame is too high, soup can scorch. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted.
From ‘Tried & True Quick & Easy’ cookbook from Allrecipes
BLACK BEAN SOUP
1 pound black beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded, and chopped fine
2 tablespoons freshly minced cilantro
2 quarts chicken stock
Corn chips and shredded cheese for garnish along with minced cilantro
Note: I like to serve black beans over rice.
From ‘Cooking Under the Dome’