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'Tis the season for soups, stews to shine

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23 2012 3:20 p.m. MDT

Lion House Pantry staff tested each recipe to ensure the adjustments for a home kitchen worked. The ones taken from previous books were updated and simplified.

They include some old favorites that have been served at the Lion House for years, like the Lion House Tomato Bisque, Split Pea Soup, French Onion Soup and the Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup, along with some new ones, including Pozole or Mexican Stew, Sausage Soup with Pinch Noodles, Brunswick Stew, and step-by-step instructions on making Beef Stock.

“I fell in love with Pozole,” Hopkin said of the Mexican stew with pork and hominy, with shredded cabbage and onions that makes a light, broth soup.

She heard about the Brunswick Stew while on vacation in Tennessee and asked for the recipe.

“It’s different than most soups and stews,” she added.

The accompanying DVD includes demonstrations from her and Bench on chopping and preparing ingredients efficiently, making stock, rouxs and white sauces, along with making some of the breads.

Soup recipes can be long with lists of ingredients, but don’t be intimidated, as most are seasonings and spices. Most the preparation for soups is in the chopping and peeling. And many of these recipes can be easily doubled, or tripled, too.

“Warm your heart by making soup,” Hopkin said.

HARVEST PUMPKIN SOUP WITH CHEDDAR

Prep time: 30 minutes

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 cup frozen chopped onions

5 cups chicken stock (or 3 cans chicken broth)

1 29-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

1 2.5-ounce package cooked bacon pieces (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup cream, or half-and-half (or fat-free half-and-half)

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

1. Add oil to pot and turn heat to high.

2. Add onion and sauté, stirring, until it begins to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in stock, pumpkin, bacon, sugar, and thyme. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer about 5 minutes.

4. Remove the soup from the heat and add cream, nutmeg and curry powder, if desired.

5. Puree soup in two or three batches in blender, leaving the middle of the lid open to avoid pressure build-up of steam. Start on low speed to prevent splashing. Or, use an immersion blender.

6. Season with salt and pepper. When serving, spoon a little of the cheese on top of each bowl of soup. Garnish with pumpkin seeds if desired.

Options: Substitute Parmesan cheese for the cheddar topping.

— "Soup's On!" by Valerie Phillips, published by Covenant Communications

POZOLE (Mexican Stew)

Makes: 10 servings

2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut in 1-by-2-inch pieces

1 pound boneless port butt, cut in 1-by-2-inch pieces

14 cups water

4 teaspoons salt

¾ cup diced onion

1 tablespoon dried oregano

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