Janet's Notebook
Soup's On! Comfort Food Makes A Return

Ring in the Season with Spectacular Soup

A leaf fell in our yard yesterday. You have no idea how happy this makes me. For days I've kept my ear to the oak tree outside believing that I might actually be able to hear that "swish" of the first leaf fluttering to the ground. It's official, friends, Fall is here! Time to break out those chunky sweaters, fuzzy slippers and your very coziest of comfort food recipes.

No single food has been of more comfort to me over the years than good ol' soup. A hot, melt-y grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of canned tomato soup seemed to right everything with the world when I was a kid. And, honestly, I think we'd all still be well-served by increasing the amount of soup in our lives (and melted cheese!)

Brazil, IN native Tina Geier has taken that old-fashioned tomato soup and jazzed it up with the addition of a few simple ingredients. Basil, heavy cream and chopped tomato give a face-lift to otherwise plain canned soup. You will be amazed at the results! And, as always, we love a recipe that is fast and easy! Pair it with Stephanie Jameson's homemade Herbed Breadsticks and you've got a meal for all ages.

Looking to take your soup bowl up yet another notch? How about adding a Mexican kick?! The flavors of Mexico really come alive in Texan Kim Wiese's Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup. Imagine a delicious traditional tortilla soup with the added richness of cream cheese... making for a savory, soul-soothing dish that is a meal all on its own. Top it off with a bit of sliced avocado and watch the smiles spread 'round your table.

For those chilly evenings when you're dreaming less of spicy Mexican fiestas and more of warm Italian breezes, try Terri Slotterback's recipe for Real Italian Minestrone. Her dish turns common pantry ingredients into a Mediterranean delight.

"My Aunt got this recipe from an Italian chef in center city Philly way back in the 50's," says Terri. "My family loves it. I think it's very easy and especially delicious with a loaf of crusty Italian bread and butter."

Now, lest I leave the fellas out, I must tell you about the wonderful Cabbage and Sausage Soup recipe that we first tried last winter. This recipe, submitted by Mike Killebrew of Carlsbad, NM, is so delicious that we've been looking forward to making it again all year. With it's hearty (dare we say, manly?) mixture of smoked sausage, chunky vegetables and melt-in-your-mouth cabbage, your guests will never believe that this is a one-step recipe! Throw all the ingredients in the pot and go!

"This is one of my top three cabbage recipes," explains Mike. "It's healthy and so good."

Oh, right... We forgot that it's nutritious too! (That happens to us sometimes when we're so bowled over by flavor.)

Speaking of healthy(ish), do you know what else would go great with these sensational soups? A yummy salad! Don't forget to enter your favorite salad creation in the Just A Pinch Ultimate Salad Toss! You and your recipe may just win a dream trip to Nashville and a $1,000 shopping spree a the Viking Culinary Center! Don't miss the deadline - ENTER TODAY!

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Heidi Hoerman - Oct 4, 2010
Linda, click on the "town square" tab at the top of the page and it takes you to the groups.
LISA BOGER - Oct 3, 2010
Jacqueline Fowler - Oct 3, 2010
Janet, Your a lady after my own heart, I to can't wait for the first day of Autumn, know that fall is just around the corner, that my favorite soups will be soon cooking on the stove. The aroma of the soup filling up my apartment. It's terrible to say, but I love living alone, this way I don't have to share that big pot of soup, but eventually a sibling shows up and I'll share.
Darci Conley - Oct 3, 2010
It is getting cooler here in Indiana too. I am a new member & I just posted a recent recipe that some may like for this time of year. My Grandmother simply called it Appetizer if anyone wants to check it out.
Linda Sansing - Oct 3, 2010
what is "join the group"? I've looked and can't find it. What group is it? I don't understand. I just joined this group yesterday.
Lu Jasperson - Oct 3, 2010
I'm making a big pot of lentil/veggie soup. Our hard freeze was here-looked like it has snowed. This week its supposed to warm to the 70's all week. Soup will still taste good.
Heidi Hoerman - Oct 3, 2010
That was supposed to be "join the group"
Heidi Hoerman - Oct 3, 2010
Linda, join the good called "looking for" and post it there. You are bound to get an answer as we all chime in with info from our mom's recipe boxes, etc. I don't know vinegar pie so can't help.
Linda Sansing - Oct 3, 2010
I don't know exactly where to post a question, I'm new here.

Has anyone heard of Vinegar Pie? My Mother's Mother used to make it but she can't remember the ingredients. She's 85 now and December is her Birthday. I'd like to surprise her with it. Does anyone know the recipe?
Heidi Hoerman - Oct 2, 2010
Actually a pig pot of soup sounds good! Time to get the ham hock and the split peas! LOL One of the many nice things about this site is that few folks worry much about typos, etc. We all just read what the poster meant cuz life's too short to "owrry." Enjoy your weekend!
Lu Jasperson - Oct 2, 2010
Boy I really need to spell check, Sorry... I must still be asleep
Lu Jasperson - Oct 2, 2010
We are expecting a hartd freeze here tonight so will make a pig pot of soup and eat it all week....
Heidi Hoerman - Oct 2, 2010
Ellen, I've been making some veggie soups this week that might be of interest to you. Just click on my picture and I think you will get to my recipes.
Ellen Overstreet - Oct 1, 2010
You have made me so hungry for soup now, think I'm gonna have to get cooking, maybe some good ole potato soup and cornbread!Even though it is 9PM at night, who cares, nothing special to get up early in the AM for! LOL