Baby, It’s Cold Outside

February is a great month for making soup. We’ve been lucky to have an occasional warm day in Beaufort lately, but those cold, grey days are no fun. All three recipes this week are for hearty, tummy-warming soups. The first two recipes are my concoctions. The third recipe is an Alabama treat from my friend, Janelle Proctor. All three soups freeze beautifully. Stay warm, my friends, spring is coming!

Taco Soup

Hamburger Taco Soup
2 pounds ground beef
½ large red onion, chopped
2 (14-ounce) cans beef broth
1 (15.25-ounce) can corn, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 (1-ounce) packages taco seasoning
1 (16-ounce) container fresh salsa
In a large skillet, cook ground beef with onion until done. Drain well on paper towels. Pour beef broth into a large stock pot. Add beef-onion mixture, corn, black beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and ketchup. Stir in taco seasoning. Cook over medium heat. Stir in fresh salsa and continue to cook until warmed through. Serve hot. Serves 8-10.

Italian Sausage and Spinach Soup

Italian Pasta & Spinach Soup
4 cups vegetable broth
1 small white onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
¾ cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ditalini pasta
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
4 cups loosely packed spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pour vegetable broth into a medium stock pot. Bring to a boil. Add onion, carrots and celery. Lower heat and cook until vegetables are tender. Add garlic, pasta and spices. Cook over medium heat until pasta is al dente. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 6.

Swamp Stew

Swamp Stew
(courtesy of Janelle Proctor)
1 pound *Conecuh sausage
1 large can tomatoes
1 large can turnip greens, undrained
2 cans black-eyed peas
1 can great northern beans, drained
3 cans chicken broth
1 package vegetable soup mix (Knorr’s)
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco)
Black pepper, to taste
Cut sausage into ½-inch slices. Cook in a skillet until browned. Place all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on the high setting for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Serves 4 to 6. *Conecuh sausage is from Alabama and may be found locally at Walmart.

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The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of two cookbooks, Gold Medal Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. Debbi’s website address is www.cateringbydebbicovington.com. She may be reached at 525-0350 or by email at dbc@cateringbydebbicovington.com.