State College Area School District Community Education–Soups and Stews Class–Feb. 12, 2013

Tuesday night we had a busy class of 10 people all learning about and cooking soups and stews–with a quick cake for a Valentines Day treat.  Here are the recipes that we made:

Potato-Carrot-Cheddar Cheese Soup:

–Serves 8

Everyone loves this soup and the great thing about it is, you usually have all the ingredients on hand.

4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes

1 cup peeled and sliced carrots

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

4 cups water

3 bouillon chicken cubes (or use the Better Than Bouillon)

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

Put the potatoes, onion, celery, carrots, water and bouillon cubes in a pot and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender.  Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender to smooth mixture. Return to pot and add cheese.  Stir until melted.  Add  the sour cream and seasonings and stir.  If the soup is too thick for your taste, just add a bit of milk to get the consistency you like.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Cook the beef, onion and celery in a pot until the beef is browned and the onion is soft.  Put the beef mixture into a crock-pot.  Add to that:

1 – 15.5 ounces beans, drained and rinsed–I used cannellini beans

2 – 10.5 ounce cans condensed beef broth (or use “Better Than Broth” and water–or you can use bouillon cubes-with equivalent water)

1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon marjoram

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried basil (this is when I used my basil bundle)

1 rind of Parmesan cheese

Cook all of this in a crock-pot for about 4 to 5 hours on high, about 8 to 10 hours on low.  When ready to serve, discard the Parmesan rind and add 3 cups cooked pasta; stir together.

 Classic Beef Stew

Remember some of my changes:

–we used REAL carrots, not the baby carrots, but you can if you want to!!

–I only use 1/2 cup wine and 1/2 cup water for the 1 cup wine (but sometimes I also use 1/2 cup white grape juice and water)

Sometimes I serve this for dinner over cooked rice — extending it for “hungry boys.”

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

2 Tbsp. Butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth (I used the equivalent of Better than Broth dissolved in water)
4 medium carrots
1 medium cauliflower
1 cup half and half (or I have used 2% milk to save calories)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

salt and pepper

sour cream

In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, melt the butter, add onion and saute until limp (5-10 minutes).  Pour the broth into the pan and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, uct carrots in 1/4 inch slices and cauliflower into flowerets.  Add veggies to broth.  Reduce heat, simmer until very tender (about 20 minutes).  Pour small amount at a time into blender.  Return puree to pan.  Add milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.  Heat to simmering.  It it is very thick, add more milk to thin to your liking.   Serve with a dollop of sour cream.  4-6 servings

Creamy Tomato Soup
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
¼ cup butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons chopped onions
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chicken broth
2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup cooked rice (optional)
Melt butter in soup pan; saute onions in the butter for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, baking soda and chicken broth in the pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add cream to the mixture just before serving. Add the rice, if you prefer, for a heartier soup. Yield 6 – 8 servings.

Made-in-the-Pan Cake (also called “Wacky Cake” in the 60’s!)

1 and ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons melted shortening or oil
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup nuts (optional)
Put flour, salt, cocoa, sugar and baking soda in an 8- or 9-inch pan (that has been sprayed with Pam) and stir with fork.  Make a “well” in the middle of the dry ingredients.  Pour liquid ingredients in the well and stir them in with a fork.  Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until the cake tests done in center.  Cool on a rack.  Cut into 9 pieces.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar for a finished look.

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