A hot dish to warm the body

With the below freezing temperatures we have been experiencing lately, the best dish for warming up the system is that old standby – soup.

The preparing of soup is an old art, according to the Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book. It goes back to the days when aborigines simmered flesh in a kettle over an open fire. Later, perhaps by accident, herbs were added to give it more taste.

Soup would always be simmering on the stove in French households when the housewife threw herbs, vegetable tag ends and meat bones together to cook until all flavors were blended during the long and slow cooking process.

There was a saying, “The kettle should smile and chuckle but never laugh outright in a full rollicking boil.”

Soup stimulates the appetite and provides nourishment, according to the cookbook, and there are three types of the liquid nourishment: Bouillon, a type of meat tea; cream soups and chowders; and hearty one-dish meal soups.

So whatever your choice for the day, let it warm your heart, your tummy and your toes.

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Back in 2002, I saw a request for Buckeye state recipes in a magazine and thought “Why not enter?”

I submitted two of the recipes my family enjoyed and forgot all about it.

I can’t remember how I was notified now, but I know that I was quite overjoyed. One was a pie recipe that came about by accident.

There are many wild raspberry bushes in the woods around our home, and Lamont would bring them in by the bucket. I froze quite a few in pint containers and in the spring, decided to make a pie.

The recipe called for 3 cups of the berries and as you know, a pint is 2 cups. So I added chopped apples to make up for the lack of fruit. It turned out to be a hit and was a lifesaver in later years when some of the berry bushes died out, and we didn’t have as big a harvest.

The Apple Dapple is merely a grated apple cake served with a caramel-type sauce. It was easy and tasty, and I sent it along, too.

But some of the recipes here today are for soups that come from Ohio cooks, and the one for Cincinnati Chili can be served over spaghetti or in a soup bowl combined with kidney beans or in a bowl sprinkled with cheese and/or onions.

Cincinnati Chili

2 pounds ground beef

4 medium onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons vinegar

12-ounce can tomato paste

2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/2 ounce dark chocolate or 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 quart water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

15-ounce can kidney beans, optional

Spice bag:

4 dry peppers

35 whole allspice

5 baby leaves

Saute beef, onions and garlic. Add remaining ingredients including spice bag. Simmer, partially covered for an hour. Remove spice bag. One way to serve the chili is to assemble layers of hot spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions and kidney beans on a serving plate and top with oyster crackers. Makes between six and eight servings.

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This broccoli soup from the Ohio Cook Book has noodles and a chicken flavor from bouillon cubes.

Broccoli-Cheese Soup

3/4 tablespoon margarine

3/4 cup chopped onion

6 chicken bouillon cubes

6 cups water

8-ounce bag thin noodles

2 packages frozen chopped broccoli, 10-ounces each

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

6 cups milk

1 pound Velveeta cheese cubed

In a soup pot, heat margarine and saute onion for 3 minutes. Dissolve bouillon cubes in water; add to soup pot. Add noodles and simmer for 3 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic powder and salt and simmer for 4 minutes. Add milk and cheese and heat until cheese has melted.

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This is called Lake Erie Fish Corn Chowder but can be any fish of your choice. It was from the Ohio Sea Grant College Program in Columbus and was in the Ohio Cook Book.

Lake Erie Fish Corn Chowder

1 pound bacon, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 1/2 cups bones Lake Erie fish filets


1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 cans cream-style corn, 15-ounce

1 quart milk

Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, fry bacon; remove and drain on paper towels. Add onion and celery to skillet and cook until golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside. Dredge chopped up filets in flour and brown in bacon drippings. Discard drippings. Place all ingredients in a large kettle and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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This is a combination of different beans in a recipe from a Country Quick and Easy 2 Cookbook given to me by a good friend, Jane Agresta. It is called Senate Bean Soup after the famous soup served in the U.S. Senate Restaurant.

Senate Bean Soup

Two 10 3/4-ounce cans bean and bacon soup

15 1/2-ounce can Great Northern beans

15-ounce can navy beans

16-ounce can pinto beans with jalapeno

1 onion , chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1 pound Polish sausage, thinly sliced

3/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a stockpot. Simmer over low heat for an hour. Serves eight to 10. Or the ingredients can be prepared in a slow cooker, covered and left to cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

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This is from the Country Quick and Easy 2 Cookbook and the name intrigued me.

Risi Bisi is an Italian rice and pea soup that is said to be comforting in the wintertime. It will become quite thick as it cools, so add a little water or chicken broth when reheating it.

Risi Bisi

3 tablespoons onion, chopped

1/4 cup butter

10-ounce package frozen peas

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 cups chicken broth

1 cup long-cooking rice, uncooked

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Saute onion in butter in large saucepan until tender. Add peas and salt; cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add broth and bring to a boil; stir in rice. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in parsley and remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese at serving time. Serves four to six.

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This soup is said to be quick, easy and delicious. It is a combination of cubed chicken breast, cheese tortellini and vegetables and spices.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed

9-ounce package cheese tortellini, uncooked

46-ounce can chicken broth

1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in a stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tortellini is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serves six.

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This is a soup that my mother would make with a ham bone that was left after a holiday dinner.

It took a long time to cook but was worth the wait. Quick-cooking dried beans do not require overnight soaking. Some people, however, believe even those are better for soaking. The recipe is from the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook and came from an old recipe.

Navy Bean Soup

2 cups Navy beans

3 quarts water

1 ham bone or small shank end of ham

1 onion, minced

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 stalks celery

1 sprig parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Put beans and water together in a kettle and soak overnight or at least several hours. Cover and simmer in the same soaking water. There is no need to drain.

Add the ham bone, onion, sugar, celery and parsley and slowly bring to the boiling point. Cover and simmer 4 to 5 hours, until beans are tender, and the liquid is partially cooked down.

For a smooth soup, rub through a coarse sieve. Or use the sieve for some and whole for the remainder. Skim off excess fat. Thicken with a paste of milk and water, if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes eight servings.

Note: The recipe notes that if it needs to be diluted, add milk or water. And 2 cups of dried beans equal 1 pound.

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Here is another recipe from grandmother’s day. It is a creamed spinach soup and was always good to use up leftover cooked vegetables, pushed through a sieve.

Cream of Spinach Deluxe

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 cups rich milk or light cream

2 cups beef broth

1 cup cooked pureed spinach, fresh spinach preferred

1 teaspoon grated onion

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan and blend in flour, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the milk and beef broth

Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then add the spinach and onion. Simmer an additional 10 minutes. Makes six servings.

(McCoy can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronline.com.)