It’s starting to feel like fall weather outside. Mornings and evenings have been rather cool lately. When the weather starts feeling cool, I start thinking about soup. I have so many wonderful soup recipes.

My family has always loved soups and the good thing is most are easy to prepare and can be made and put in the crock pot to cook while you are away at work. Come home and add either bread or crackers and you have a wonderful meal to share on a cool evening. Rich French

Onion Soup

Ingredients:

6 large onions chopped

½ cup butter

6 cans (10.5 oz.) condensed beef broth, undiluted

1½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

3 bay leaves

10 slices French bread, toasted

Shredded Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese

Directions:

In large skillet sauté onions in butter until crisp. Transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker. Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until onions are tender. Discard bay leaves. Ladle soup into oven proof bowls and top each with a slice of toast sprinkled with desired amount of cheese. Place bowls on baking sheet and bake for 2-3 minutes until cheese is lightly golden.

Basil Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

2 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes

1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth

18 to 20 fresh basil leaves minced

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup butter

Directions:

In a large saucepan, bring the tomatoes and broth to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add basil and sugar. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and butter. Cook until butter is melted. This can be added to a crock pot and kept on low heat until ready to serve.

Soothing Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

2 cups sliced celery

3 quarts chicken broth

4 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 can (10.75 oz.) condensed Cream of Mushroom soup undiluted

1 cup uncooked instant rice

1 envelope of onion soup mix

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

½ teaspoon seasoned salt

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

In a Dutch oven or boiler, simmer celery in broth until tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until rice is tender.

Cheeseburger Soup

Ingredients:

3 hamburger buns diced into 1-inch cubes

4 slices bacon, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces ground beef

¼ cup unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, grated

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 ½ cups chicken broth

2 cups milk, or more as needed

2 russet potatoes peeled and cubed

1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread bread cubes into a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden, about 10-15 minutes and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes making sure to crumble beef as it cooks. Drain excess fat and set aside.

Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery, carrots and Worcestershire sauce. Cook stirring frequently until onions are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in flour until lightly browned. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk and cook whisking constantly until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

Stir in potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in ground beef, cheese, salt and pepper.

If the soup is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.

Serve immediately, garnished with croutons, bacon and chives, if desired.

Winder resident Joyce Jacks is a cooking columnist for the Barrow Journal. You can send comments or questions to dixiedawg00@bellsouth.net.

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