Tuesday, January 25, 2011

B-r-r-r It's Still Cold Outside...Let's Make Soup!

During the cold days of winter I seem to find myself  in the kitchen on Sunday afternoons stirring up a pot of soup for the week.  I LOVE soup in the winter!  It just seems to warm the soul as well as your tummy.  Sometimes the soup goes back to Charleston with my daughter, sometimes it is shared with a neighbor, and sometimes I just cook up a pot to share with my friends at school.  Nevertheless, soup is never wasted in my household and it's something that is easily shared with others .... and what a treat!  I have many treasured recipes. Some I've even made up myself, so I thought I would share 2 of my all time favorites today.  The first soup is one I just made up.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Becky's Cheesy Potato Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, diced
16 oz. chicken broth
1 pint heavy cream
8 oz. Velvetta cheese, cubed
1 quart milk (you can add more or less depending on how much broth you like)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Fried bacon, crumbled

In a large stockpot combine onions, potatoes and chicken broth.  Add salt and pepper.  (Remember, cheese is salty so go easy on the salt)  Simmer until vegetables are tender.  Add heavy cream and milk.  Bring this to a slight simmer and add Velvetta cubes a couple at a time, stirring soup so the cheese doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.  Once all the cheese has been added and melted you may want to make a roux or thickening for the broth.  To make a roux I melt about 2 tablespoons of melted butter and add to that 2 tablespoons flour.  Mix together well and while the soup is simmering I add a little at a time with a fork, whisking it into the broth.  When the broth is as thick as you like it turn soup down to warm.  This is not a soup that has to cook a long time.  Once your potatoes are tender, everything else is ready!  Now the best part is how to serve it.  Fry several strips of bacon (one of my best friends!  Bacon is to me like butter is to Paula Deen!).  Crumble bacon and sprinkle generously on top of each bowl of soup.  Aaaahhh...it's so good!

The next recipe is one shared by my dear friend Lesli.  She is part of the Lunch Bunch Girls and this has become one of our all time favorites.  It tastes like something from a 5-star restaurant.  This is what I served at my cookie swap this year along with Garlic Cheddar Biscuits and salad! 

Tomato Bisque

2 large onions, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 stick butter
1- 28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
1 - 46 oz. can tomato juice
3 bay leaves
1 tsp each: basil, dill, thyme, parsley
1 tsp baking soda
8 oz. cream cheese, softened cut into pieces
2 cups light cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in large dutch oven.  Saute onions until translucent, then add garlic and saute for about 1 minute more.  Add tomatoes, tomato juice and herbs. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in baking soda. (It will foam up!) Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add cream cheese and cream. Cook for 15 minutes until cream cheese melts.  This is sooo good with grilled cheese sandwiches!

 Now, get that soup simmerin', grab a good book, and snuggle up on the couch with an afgan for a warm, fuzzy day!


  1. Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes! I love soup! I can't wait to try them! :)

  2. They are both my favorite! I took my tomato bisque you made me out of the freezer today to thaw so Brice and I can have it at lunch tomorrow!!

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  4. Becky, although we've never met, I feel as if I've always known you! I am Erik Huffman's mother, and have had the pleasure of knowing your lovely daughter for the past few years :) I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog... your enthusiasm about your projects is so contagious, and I always look forward to reading your latest posts! I've always wanted to sew, and had hoped my mother would teach me - but working full-time and raising three other children didn't give her much time, unfortunately. Hopefully I'm not too old to begin! Thanks so much for the inspiration... my sewing might have to wait, but I will definitely be trying some of your great recipes soon!

  5. Denise, I'm so glad you are enjoying the blog and I feel like I know you too! I just love Jaime and Erik to death and Harper...OMG, what a lump of sugar! I could eat him with a spoon he is so cute and sweet! I know you are so proud! It's never too late to learn anything so get you a sewing machine and start some projects! It's really not hard and if you want to learn, well, that's half the battle!! Blessings to you and your lovely family! :)