Shirley’s Soup

One afternoon (January 10, 1995), when I served on the worship committee at our church in Little Rock, we went to Shirley’s house for a lunch meeting.  She served a salad with raisins, sunflower seeds and cranberry vinaigrette, some fresh bread and this soup. 

Here are her words to me, when I asked for the recipe, “”Please note that I generally do not write down recipes or use them, but I’m trying. This is the best attempt I can make. I usually cook by flavor or taste. This is a great soup for a party because it satisfies both meat eaters and vegetable lovers. This recipe is given to you with love; enjoy it the same way, and share it with anyone you like. God Bless You! Shirley”   Now I find that I miss Shirley so much, but I think of her every time I make this and pray for her. She is a dear heart, can you tell?

1 lb. turkey sausage links, sliced in pieces about 1/4 inch wide
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 T. olive oil
4 cans stewed tomatoes
1 can diced Rotel tomatoes
2 cans red beans, drained
2 cans great northern beans, drained
2 T. mixed Italian seasoning
1/3 t. garlic powder
1/3 t. white pepper
salt to taste

Heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté turkey links, onion and bell pepper for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in stewed tomatoes, Rotel, red beans, northern beans, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, white pepper and salt. Stir, cover and simmer on low heat until hot and bubbly. Serves 8-10 hearty appetites.

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Tortilla Soup

This is a fall/winter staple in our home.  Everyone loves it and they can add the toppings they want, which is great for the motley and assorted taste buds in a family of six.

4 chicken breast halves
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 t.)
2 T. minced onion
2 T. butter
30 oz. chicken broth
2 14 1/2 oz cans chopped stewed tomatoes
1 c. of your favorite salsa
1/2 c. cilantro
1 T. ground cumin
8 oz Monterrey jack, shredded

Toppings (optional): Sour cream, sharp cheddar, tortilla chips, jalapenos

Boil Chicken in a large stock pot with about 10 c. water. Season to taste (salt, pepper, basil, onions, garlic). Save broth. Cube chicken. In another small pan, melt butter. Saute minced garlic and onion. In a crock pot on low, mix together broth, tomatoes, sauteed garlic and onion, cubed chicken, salsa, cilantro, and cumin. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Divide cheese on the bottom of 6 bowls, layer tortilla chips, soup, extra cheddar, sour cream, and jalapenos (if you’d like). So very good and hearty!

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