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October 10, 2012

A splash of soups for fall

The Food Dude

RICHMOND — Autumn, with its chilly and somewhat unpredictable weather, brings us back to the kitchen with thoughts of heartier fare.

Soup is, perhaps, the most basic of comfort foods.

It’s reasonably easy to make, takes just one pot, and provides enough to feed a couple or a crowd, depending on how much you want to make.

Some people have an exaggerated fear of making soup, but it’s actually one of the easier dishes to make, especially with the availability of many canned and boxed broths available in grocery stores that give you a real jump on cooking these cold weather delights!

Form any years, I made chicken soup that included making my own stock. This involved simmering cut up chicken for hours, cooling the chicken and removing the meal before I could actually start the soup making itself.

Using boxed chicken broth, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I have come up with a recipe that not only eliminates a lot of the fuss, but makes a soup that’s much less fatty, takes considerably less time, and is just as tasty as soup made in the “classic” method.

Since most soup making is dependent upon the broth or stock, we can also cut time and effort in making beef-based soups, like vegetable beef.

Make no mistake…these soups taste homemade and are far superior than anything you can get in a can.

I still make my split pea soup with a meaty hambone, since I’m unable to find any suitable boxed ham broth, but it’s really not a difficult dish, and it’s a great use for that leftover ham bone.

So, plan on serving a hearty and tasty soup to take the chill off the autumn air, and enjoy plenty of good eating. All’s you need is a nice crusty loaf of bread and you’ve got a complete, delicious meal that’s not only good, but healthy for you!

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