Time for soups and stews
Published 4:05 am Wednesday, September 23, 2009
It’s the official beginning of fall and time to turn cooking thoughts in a different direction.
Although a cool summer salad is still tasty these days, many cooks are beginning to pull out their recipes for chili, soups and stews.
My idea of a great fall meal includes a rich potato soup. I’ve had several versions of this creamy concoction and can say I like just about any potato soup I’ve been served.
I found a recipe a few years ago that is perfect for my taste. It’s also a great way to us up baked potatoes from a previous meal.
Baked Potato Soup
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
7 cups milk
4 large baking potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and cubed, about 4 cups
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 to 12 strips bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1 1/4 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over low heat, melt butter. Stir in flour; stir until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Add potatoes and onions. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until soup begins to bubble. Reduce heat; simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; stir until cheese is melted. Serve baked potato soup immediately. Top with additional cheese and chopped green onion tops.
As I began to consider what could be served with the potato soup I began to think about sandwiches. A heart partner to the soup would be a good barbecue sandwich.
The next recipe has the added bonus of being perfect for the slow cooker.
4 to 5 lb. Boston Butt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Place meat in 6-qt. slow cooker. Combine vinegar, brown sugar, salt and peppers and pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for about 10 hours or on high for about 5 hours. When meat is tender and falling apart, transfer to a cutting board. Pull fat from meat and remove from bones. Either chop or shred pork. Return to slow cooker with just enough of the juices to maintain moisture. Bottle barbecue sauce can either be added at this point or added to individual sandwiches.
A similar recipe is perfect for chicken and offers a lower fat version of the sandwich.
4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
28 oz. bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
Place chicken, water, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and cumin in slow cooker set on low. Cook for six hours. Drain juices. Shred chicken back into slow cooker. Pour barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Cook on low for an additional hour. Serve on toasted buns.
Happy fall and happy cooking!