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Thick and Thrifty Winter Soups

From her ma's old-time Minnesota kitchen, the author brings us warming winter soup recipes.

| November/December 1979

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    For a filling meal on a cold day, try any of these winter soup recipes.

  • 060-winter-soup-recipes2.jpg

Hearty, inexpensive homemade soup is an ideal dish to fill up (and cheer up!) your family and friends on a cold day. Better yet, the following winter soup recipes—which my mother often served during my Minnesota childhood—can be prepared for just a dollar or so. The thick, nutritious, one-dish meals will satisfy five or six very hungry teenagers or adults!

Thick Potato Soup with Butter Dumplings

Put 5 or 6 medium diced potatoes, 1 large diced onion, and 1 or 2 stalks of chopped celery in a large kettle. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and cook 'em until they're barely soft enough to pierce with a fork.

Next, melt 1/2 cup of margarine or butter over low heat in a saucepan and add 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and pepper to taste. Stir the mixture until it's smooth and thick (just a few strokes). Add 6 cups of milk  a little at a time and continue to heat the sauce, mixing constantly, until it's fairly thick and hot. (A wire whisk really helps keep the lumps out.) Now pour this mixture into the large kettle, with the vegetables and water, and bring the soup-to-be to a boil.

In the meantime, prepare the dumplings. Simply cream 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine with 2 eggs, then stir in 6 tablespoons of whole wheat flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

When the soup begins to boil, spoon in the dumpling batter, cover the kettle, and let the flavors mingle at a simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

Creamy Vegetable Soup with Parsley Dumplings

If you'd like to make a "lighter" soup (with more dumplings than the potato recipe calls for), put 3 cups of water or meat broth in your soup kettle with 2 medium onions (chopped), 2 or 3 diced celery stalks, 2 sliced carrots and 1 pint of tomatoes. (You can also add two diced potatoes, or a cup or so of any of your other favorite fresh or frozen vegetables, if you like.) Cook until the firmest ingredients are barely tender.

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