After hitting the 100° mark the first 3 days of October, we finally fell into the 60’s. Not exactly soup weather, but I’ll take it. I’ve gotten a bit tired of our usual summer fare and ready to move on, so here we go…
Sunday was a new addition to the repertory, Pork and Pinto Bean Chili, made in that kitchen wonder, the electric pressure cooker. It’s very similar to my Pork and Poblano Chili and to be honest, I don’t know which one I prefer. Both are very filling and delicious with a side of cornbread.
Meatless Monday hit the mark with a bowl of Free Asparagus Soup. (It’s the same as my Free Broccoli Soup, just using a different veggie.) This time I added a little twist, Grilled Cheese Croutons. These delectable croutons are like a mini grilled cheese sandwiches, but they aren’t grilled at all, they’re broiled, and very easy to make. Try them with a bowl of good old tomato soup sometime.
Tuesday’s dinner came straight from the freezer, as did Thursday’s. When you are cooking for two, that freezer fills up quickly and it’s really hard to empty. It’s a good thing that most soups and stews freeze well.
Tuesday evening we enjoyed a piping hot bowl of Chicken and Gnocchi Soup, along with some of Sunday’s cornbread. By then the weather was warming up again, but that soup was my plan, and I was sticking to it! Thank goodness for air conditioning.
Thursday’s Company Beef Stew was served in Mashed Potato Bowls. This freezer friendly meal solves two potato related problems. Cubed potatoes in soups and stews don’t generally freeze well. They tend to turn out grainy and mushy. Company Beef Stew contains no potatoes, but could be served over rice or noodles. The satisfying potato portion is provided when the stew is served in potato bowls, which do freeze well. I think the modifying factor is that the potatoes are mashed with plenty of cream cheese, butter, and an egg, changing their structure. I’m no scientist, but trust me, it works.
Finishing out “soup week” was one of Michael’s favorites, Clam Chowder. My version was modeled after the chowder my grandparents used to make for an annual church fundraiser. Living in upstate New York, fresh clams were available. Not here in Alabama. This recipe relies on canned clams and clam juice, so you don’t get quite the same briney flavor as one gets from fresh clams, but we like it just fine! Try not to freeze the leftovers, though. Remember the potato problem?
Of course we didn’t eat soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Blackberry Coffee Cake served well both as breakfast and dessert. Think coffee cake meets cheese cake with a blackberry topping. This recipe was modified from a raspberry version that I tried. The original had less than half the amount of cream cheese, leaving that layer to just disappear into the cake. It also had half the amount of berries, and those only decorated the top. If you’re gonna use berries, use berries! This version has two layers. You can find both the cheese cake and the berries here.
As a fall-ish nod to the end of summer, we churned up a batch of Butter Pecan Ice Cream and topped it off with My Apple Ice Cream Topping. Now I guess it’s on to apple season. I wonder what kind of trouble I’ll get myself into next?
Happy Fall, Y’all!
Be happy for what life gives you.