It’s that time of the year when flu bugs and colds are in the air. And, unfortunately, everyone in our family had symptoms of one kind or another the last couple of weeks. A bowl of hot soup is a perfect soothing meal when you’re under the weather. One day I made a pot of cream of potato and ham soup. It was a simple, one-pot meal that was nourishing, served piping hot to ward off the raw winds and dipping temperatures.
■ Cream of Potato and Ham
Serving size: 8
● 5 Tbsp. butter
● 1 medium onion, chopped
● 5 large carrots, peeled and diced
● 2 sticks celery, chopped
● 10 large potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
● 5 cups chicken broth
● 2 cups milk
● 3 cups ham, cubed
Melt butter in pot. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook until soft. Add potatoes and chicken broth.
Cook covered until bubbly, then simmer for one hour.
Take half of the soup mixture and blend it in a food processor or blender.
Return to pot; add milk slowly, stirring. Add ham and heat thoroughly.
*I used my hand blender to slightly blend chunks of potato.
■ Crock Pot Beef and Gravy
● 1 3-to-4 pound beef sirloin tip roast
● 1/2 cup flour, divided
● 1 envelope onion soup mix
● 1 envelope brown gravy mix
● 2 cups cold water
Cut roast in half; rub with 1/4 cup flour. Place in a 5-quart slow cooker.
In a bowl, combine soup and gravy mixes and remaining flour; stir in water until blended. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
Slice roast beef and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.
■ 5 Minute Chicken BLT Salad
Serving size: 4
● 8 cups torn romaine lettuce
● 3 cups sliced cooked chicken breast
● 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
● 1/2 cup sliced red onion
● 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
● 1/2 cup ranch salad dressing with bacon
● 2 slices bacon, crumbled
Toss lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, onions and 1/2 cup cheese in large bowl. Add dressing and mix lightly. Top with remaining cheese and bacon.
■ FOOD FOR THOUGHT: In order to do urgent and important work, two things are necessary: a definite plan and not quite enough time.
■ GARY’S TIP: To keep fresh cut flowers fresh longer, place in a quart of warm water to which has been added two tablespoons of vinegar and three tablespoons of sugar.