Several years ago I pinned a picture of some vintage soup spoons, the kind with round bowls (I think these are sometimes called gumbo spoons), on Pinterest. I loved the round shape of them…a shape you don’t see much of anymore.
I made a mental note to look for some of these spoons in my antique booth and estate sale travels, but despite keeping my eyes peeled, I never ran across any. Not any that weren’t part of a larger set of silverware anyway.
So last winter I did some searching on Etsy and found this set of four silverplate spoons. They happened to be monogrammed with the first letter of my maiden name but, as I’ve mentioned before, I love any monogram. Any one at all. They’re so classic and charming.
My husband, Tom, is a big soup eater and even though I regularly make stew and chili in the wintertime, I hoped that having these spoons would inspire me to make other soups more often. I’ve done a little better, although there’s still lots of room for improvement.
In the spirit of soup season, though, I wanted to share with you a couple of my favorite soup recipes, starting with my go-to chili. I found this recipe eons ago in the booklet that came with my slow cooker, which actually has quite a few good recipes in it.
Favorite Slow Cooker Chili
2 – 16 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 – 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 lbs. ground beef*, browned and drained
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 gloves garlic, crushed
2 to 3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 – 8 oz. can tomato sauce (optional)*
*I’ve been using ground turkey lately and it works great with this recipe. I wouldn’t use ground turkey breast, however, as it’s a little too lean.
**I added the tomato sauce because I like my chili very tomato-y. Feel free to omit this.
Directions: Sautee the green pepper, onion, and ground beef together until the beef is cooked through and the vegetables are slightly softened. Put the beef/pepper/onion mixture in a slow cooker, add all other ingredients and stir once. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours.
The other recipe is a killer steak soup recipe from Kansas City’s Plaza III Steakhouse. My mom gave me a photo copy of the recipe, which ran in Midwest Living magazine years ago.
Kansas City Steak Soup
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 – 14.5 oz. cans beef broth
1/2 of a 10 oz. pkg (1 cup) frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
3/4 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. beefsteak, ground or cut into small, coarse chunks
1 tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 of 8 oz. can (1/2 cup) tomatoes, cut up
1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Sitr in flour until smooth. Cook and stir mixture over medium heat for 1 minute.
2. Add beef broth all at once. Cook and stir the mixture until bubbly.
3. Add frozen vegetables, carrot, onion, celery, Kitchen Bouquet, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, quickly brown the beef in cooking oil. Drain off fat. Add meat and undrained tomatoes to the soup mixture. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Makes 4 servings.
Are you soup fans at your house? What’s your favorite?
P.S. I’ve started this Pinterest board of soup recipes if you’re interested.