Sunday, April 21, 2013

Like it or not, it's still soup season.

It snowed yesterday...on April 20th. *sigh* Since winter refuses to give up its icy grip on spring completely, I am forced to continue to produce bubbling cauldrons of soup. The first was a quick accompaniment to Reuben sandwiches that turned out really delicious, and I admit, was a throw-together from random pantry items. To recreate my tomato, succotash, and spinach soup, combine one can of Campbell's Tomato Bisque, one can of Campbell's Harvest Orange Tomato Soup, two cans of Margaret Holmes' Triple Succotash (undrained), a cup of half-and-half, a teaspoon of granulated garlic, lots of black pepper, and a few shakes of hot sauce. Once the soup is hot, throw in a cup of chopped fresh spinach leaves. Garnish with grated Parmesan.

Then today's very tasty creation was devised of odds and ends from the fridge that needed to be used up, and as I had a matinee theatre performance at Plattsburgh State to attend, I employed my trust crock pot. Thus, I give you...drumroll, please...sauerkraut soup! Savory and hearty stuff, and it made so much, that I will have plenty to take into work and share with my co-workers tomorrow...if the idea of sauerkraut soup doesn't frighten them away. Tee hee.

Crock Pot Sauerkraut Soup

3 tablespoons bacon drippings, divided
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large red pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 large carrots, large dice
2 parsnips, diced (optional)
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 lbs. sauerkraut, squeezed and drained (rinse it first, if you prefer)
2 quarts beef stock (or enough to fill your crock pot)
bunch of thyme, tied with kitchen twine
1 teaspoon pepper
salt, to taste
1 pound smoked kielbasa, sliced

In a large skillet, melt one tablespoon of bacon fat and cook the sliced mushrooms until tender and somewhat browned. Strain and add the cooked mushrooms to the crock pot. Melt the other two tablespoons of bacon fat, and saute the chopped onions, celery, and red pepper until tender. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add all of these veggies to the crock pot. Then throw in the carrots, parsnips (if using), potatoes, sauerkraut, beef stock, thyme bundle, pepper and salt. Stir to combine, cover, and cook for 4-5 hours on high, or 8-10 hours on low.

When the soup is almost done, brown the sliced kielbasa in the skillet, then stir into the soup. Remove the thyme bundle, then serve the soup with an extra grinding of pepper, and a piece of buttered rye bread on the side.

1 comment:

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