Bean soup, Beef barley soup, Tortilla soup

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It’s soup weather so make these to keep warm.
Bean soup
1 TBS olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 C uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
1 bunch escarole or spinach, coarsely chopped (about 8 C)
1 can (15 oz.) white kidney rinsed and drained
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender. Add broth, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir in orzo and escarole. Return to a boil; cook 12-14 minutes or until orzo is tender. Add beans; heat through, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle servings with cheese.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally, adding a little broth if necessary. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).
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Beef barley soup
4 bacon strips, diced
2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 lb. sliced baby portobello mushrooms
1 C dry red wine or beef broth
8 C beef broth, divided
4 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme or 4 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 C medium pearl barley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Brown beef in drippings. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, saute onions, carrots and mushrooms until tender. Add wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in 4 cups broth, mustard, thyme, bay leaf and beef. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is tender.
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Tortilla soup
1 can (15-1/4 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 C medium salsa
5 corn tortillas (6 in.), cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
additional salsa, optional
In a Dutch oven, combine first five ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, spread tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees 4-6 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Stir cilantro into soup. Top servings with tortilla strips. If desired, serve with additional salsa. Yield: 8 servings.
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Remember, I before E except … when you’re weird feisty neighbor or his eight foreign heirs forfeit their beige heifers and seize freight. (This gives you food for thought – what was that rule about anyway?)
If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it to me.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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