News Column

Soup Essentials

Jan 10 2013 12:00AM


ThumbnailHearty Pasta Fagiole with HamTracker

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 01/10/13 -- (Family Features) Few things warm your body and soul quite like a bowl of hot and hearty soup on a chilly day. Don't be left out in the cold this winter. Make sure you have a pantry stocked with the right ingredients to make a delicious, comforting soup any time your taste buds desire. Here's what you need:

Grains and Legumes -- Grains, pastas and legumes are a must. They offer filling fiber along with great taste and texture.

•Brown rice •Long grain rice •Rigatoni •Small pastas such as orzo or ditalini •Farfalle •Egg noodles •Canned beans such as pinto, black, cannellini/white kidney, and lentils •Couscous •Quinoa or barley

Vegetables -- Adding two or three vegetables to a recipe brings color, flavor and vitamins to your soup.

•Roasted peppers •Canned corn •Canned tomatoes •Dried mushrooms •Onions •Carrots •Celery

Broths and Stocks -- For an inexpensive way to season your soup, make your own stock and freeze it for whenever you need it. You can also buy broth at the grocery store and save in your pantry until needed. Either way, make sure to keep a variety on hand for different kinds of soup.

•Low sodium chicken broth or stock •Beef broth or stock •Vegetable broth or stock •Soup bases, such as turkey, chicken or beef

Proteins -- Make sure to hold onto your leftovers. Ham, bacon, turkey, chicken, beef and sausage can all be great flavor additions. These two soup recipes will help you enjoy every last bite of your remaining Smithfield ham and its rich, smoky flavor.

Winter Root Vegetable and Ham SoupServes: 62 cups leftover Smithfield ham, chopped2 tablespoons olive oil1 large leek, chopped4 cups diced butternut squash2 medium carrots, peeled and diced2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced1 large parsnip, peeled and diced1 large garlic clove, minced1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper2 cups chopped escarole3 cups vegetable broth

In medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin; cook 1 minute until fragrant.

Stir in broth, butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, parsnip, Smithfield ham and pepper. Over high heat, heat to boiling; reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Add escarole; cook 5 minutes longer.

Hearty Pasta Fagiole with HamServes: 62 cups leftover Smithfield ham, diced2 tablespoons olive oil2 16-ounce cans white kidney beans, drained and rinsed1 large tomato, diced4 large garlic cloves, minced1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley2 cups ditalini or tubetini pasta, cooked2 cups chicken broth Grated Parmesan cheese

In 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, in hot oil, cook garlic, about 3 minutes, until softened. Add white kidney beans, tomato, chicken broth, ham and pepper; over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To serve, stir in parsley. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Stock up on soup essentials today so you can enjoy the perfect soup any time you want. You can find more recipes and tips like these at

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Matthew Barksdale

Source: Marketwire