'Tis the season for soups, stews to shine

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

1 sprig cilantro

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 (14 ½-16 ounce) cans hominy

Red sauce (see below)

1 tablespoon Cholula hot sauce, optional

Shredded cabbage, for garnish

Chopped onion, optional, for garnish

Lime or lemon wedges, optional, for garnish

Tostadas, for garnish

RED SAUCE:

10 chiles guerillas (dried chiles)

½ cup water

¼ onion

4 cloves garlic

For the pozole: Place pork in a large soup pot and cover with water. Add salt, onion, oregano, cilantro, and garlic and bring to a boil. As it boils, skim top layer of foam off surface of soup. Cook over medium heat until pork is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Do not cover with a lid while cooking. Add hominy, Red Sauce, and Cholula hot sauce, if desired, and cook another 15 minutes.

For the red sauce: Boil chiles in water for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree with onion and garlic. Add to the Pozole.

Garnish with shredded cabbage, chopped onion, a wedge of lemon or lime, and tostadas.

— "Lion House Soups and Stews," compiled by Brenda Hopkin and David Bench, published by Deseret Book

ROSEMARY POTATO & CORN CHOWDER

Prep time: 30 minutes

Makes: 6 1 ½-cup servings

Thanks to O'Brien-style frozen hash browns, you can avoid peeling or dicing potatoes, onions and peppers. Packaged bacon bits eliminate the messy job of bacon-frying, and they contain 50 percent less fat than regular bacon. Using fat-free half-and-half further slashes the fat and calories without losing flavor. You could also use skim milk, but your soup will be less thick and creamy. The rosemary gives a subtle pine-ish flavor.

2 14-ounce cans chicken broth (or 4 chicken bouillon cubes and 1 3/4 cup water)

1 28-ounce package O'Brien-style diced hash brown potatoes

1 3-ounce package shelf-stable bacon bits (or about 3/4 cup of cooked, chopped bacon or 1 cup finely diced ham)

1 15-ounce can corn, drained

2 teaspoons dried rosemary or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ cup water

1 ½ cup half-and-half, fat-free half-and-half, or milk

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Optional garnishes: grated cheddar cheese, bacon bits, rosemary sprigs

1. Place chicken broth, potatoes and bacon in a large pot over high heat.

2. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to keep the soup gently boiling about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add corn.

3. Mix cornstarch and water to a smooth paste. Stir cornstarch mixture into the gently boiling soup, and continue stirring until soup thickens.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in milk or half-and-half and pepper, until mixture is well-blended and the soup re-thickens.

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