Family Favorite Soups!

Family Favorite Soups!
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Soups are a family favorite at our house. I love them because they are frugal, easy and basic, but satisfying and delicious at the same time. As always, I encourage you to substitute according to your family's tastes. Any bean can be used in the bean soup. I often use a combination of black and northern. Vegetables are easily switched for what you have on hand. These soups are easily main dish meals and can be served with cornbread, garlic bread or rolls.
If you are on a low salt diet, or just watching your intake, you may drain and rinse the beans before adding. Just add a cup or so of water to make up for losing the liquid. Also buy low salt broth if using purchased variety.

Minestrone Soup


7 cups vegetable such as cabbage, carrots, onion, green pepper, squash or corn

1/2 pound hot Italian sausage

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbls. oil

1 cup tomato sauce

5 cups beef broth, or water with beef bouillon added

1 can any white bean(do not drain)

1/2 tsp. each dried oregano and basil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/3 cup small pasta of your choice

parmesan cheese

Slice or chop vegetables into bite size pieces. Sauté sausage and garlic in the oil in large pan until meat is no longer pink. Add vegetables. Sauté about 5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, beans, and spices. Simmer uncovered 15 minutes. Sprinkle pasta over soup and simmer about 15 more minutes until it is tender. Serve in bowls with parmesan sprinkled over soup.

Lentil and Sausage Soup


1 cup dried lentils

6 cups water

1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 pound hot Italian sausage

1 tablespoon oil

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 small onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 cups chopped cabbage or spinach

2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup small pasta

Wash lentils and place in large pan with water and tomato sauce. Bring to boil, lower heat, simmer as you continue preparing soup. If sausage is in casings, remove and sauté in oil while breaking up with spoon. Stir in chopped carrot and onion. Cook about 10 minutes. Add garlic about the last 2 minutes. Coarsely chop spinach or cabbage. Add all ingredients to lentils, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add pasta, and cook covered for 10 minutes more. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Spicy Rice Soup


1/2 pound ground beef

1 clove garlic, minced

3 1/2 cups water

2 beef bouillon cubes

1 can diced tomatoes with peppers

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup fast cooking rice

Brown meat and garlic in medium saucepan. Add other ingredients except for rice, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add rice and simmer for 5 more minutes. Garnish with sliced green onion.

Leek and Potato Soup


2 large leeks, washed well and thinly sliced

6 medium potatoes, diced

4 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. salt

1 cup sour cream

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon chopped chives

In a large saucepan, combine leeks, potatoes, broth and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Puree mixture in blender. Return to saucepan. Stir in sour cream, milk and chives. Heat gently. Makes 8 1/2 cups.

Hearty Bean Soup


2 cups mixed dried beans

(navy, black, northern,pinto, split peas or red beans)

2 quarts water

2 ham hocks or necks, smoked

2 cups diced ham or sliced smoked sausage

1 onion, chopped fine

1 clove garlic, minced

1 28 ounce can tomatoes, chopped

Rinse dry beans, place in bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. Rinse again the next day and place in pan with 2 quarts water and the hocks or necks. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours on the stove or place in crock pot on high for 6 or 7 hours until soft. Sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add with remaining ingredients to pot and simmer 45 minutes more on top of stove, or an hour or so in the crockpot.Season with salt and pepper.

Related Recipe Features

Winter Chowders

Hearty Stews


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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