Fall Foods Provide Nutritional Meals for Families

Cooler fall temperatures call for foods to warm you up. Here is a recipe that will make your kitchen smell wonderful, taste great, and

Vegetable Soup for a Crowd

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ward off the chill of the season. You may want to add a fresh green salad and bread, muffins, or whole wheat crackers. You will have a quick and easy nutritional meal for your family.

I always enjoy recipes I can put together without having to run to the store for ingredients. This one will have you using what you have on hand and finding it easy for children and others to put together.

Colorful Fall Stew

2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
6 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into small cubes
1 large green pepper, seeded and diced
1 large red pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen

In a large kettle over medium-high heat, add water and chopped onions. Cook until onions are softened. Children can help cut potatoes and peppers into small pieces. Add the vegetables and seasonings, except salt and green peas. Cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Taste to see if the stew needs salt or more seasonings. Or, if family members need to cut down on salt, you can eliminate it. At end of cooking period, add green peas and cook until just heated through.

This recipe retains the goodness of the vegetables and is prepared without any fat. Leftover soup can always be reheated easily for an almost instant nutritious meal.

To your health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson

Food and Family Living Advocate

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It’s Spring – Got Asparagus?

Image by Esteban Cavrico via Flickr

Asparagus can be stir-fried, grilled, steamed, boiled, and pickled. You can use it in quiches, salads, omelets, wraps, casseroles, stews, and yes, even soups. Following is the soup recipe I promised. It was featured at our party earlier this spring and received rave reviews.

Asparagus-Potato Soup

3 medium potatoes, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 13-oz. can chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 10-oz. box frozen cut asparagus or
1/2 pound of fresh asparagus cut into half-inch pieces
1 4-oz. package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups light cream

Combine potatoes, onion, chicken and salt in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are barely tender.

Add asparagus and return to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 5-10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Cut cream cheese into chunks and add to vegetables. Add light cream. Heat, but do not boil.

Serves 6.

Here is another recipe using asparagus in a soup:

Asparagus and Leek Soup

1 leek, white part only, halved lengthwise, washed thoroughly and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
¾ lb asparagus cut into half-inch pieces
1 -13 oz. (1 can) chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot, saute leeks in butter over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until slightly wilted.

Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and garlic to the pot and bring to a boil.

Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.

Mix in the heavy cream, salt and pepper.

Cool slightly, then blend soup in batches in a food processor until smooth.

Return to the pot to heat through.

Here is how to prepare fresh asparagus: Trim the stem end about 1/4 inch and wash in warm water several times. Wrap a moist paper towel around the stem ends if not using immediately, or stand upright in two inches of cold water, as you often see done in grocery stores. Refrigerate and use within 2 or 3 days for best quality.

History: Asparagus has been used from earliest times as a vegetable and as a cleansing and healing medicine. Recipes for using asparagus are found in some of the oldest surviving recipe books. It was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in the winter. Asparagus does not have a long growing season so snap it at its peak and enjoy!

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