Creamy Tomato Cheese Tortellini Soup, Baked Potato Soup and Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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By Andy Bedwell

When the weather is cold or rainy, there’s nothing better than a bowl of steaming hot, hearty soup. When soups contain some amounts of fish, meat, milk, beans, or peas, they are filling enough to be the main part of a meal. They can also be served with a salad or sandwich. Homemade soups are a favorite of Alabamians. The ones in this column are favorites of “good” cooks throughout the county. You must try them. I love for Matthew to come in my kitchen and say, “Gann, are you cooking soup today?”

Creamy Tomato Cheese Tortellini Soup

4 cans of Progresso Creamy Tomato with Basil Soup

1 can petite diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon Italian

seasoning

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 20-ounce package

Buitoni Three Cheese

tortellini (found in the

deli section at Walmart)

1 1/2 cups half and half

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook and drain the tortellini as directed. In a large pot, combine the cans of soup, diced tomatoes and seasonings. Heat to low boil. Add in the cooked tortellini, half and half, and Parmesan cheese. You can sprinkle extra Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Andy’s Note: My sweet cousin, Jane Cosby, says to serve this with a big loaf of crusty bread or garlic cheesy bread.

Baked Potato Soup

2/3 cup butter

2/3 cup flour

7 cups milk

4 large baking potatoes, baked, cooked,

peeled and cubed

4 green onions, thinly sliced

10-12 strips bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

1 1/4 cups shredded mild Cheddar cheese

1 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until sauce is thickened. Add potatoes and green onions. Continue stirring constantly, until soup begins to bubble. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until cheese is melted.

Andy’s Note: Thank you Pam Talbot for another good recipe.

Creamy Chicken and

Wild Rice Soup

1 celery rib, chopped fine

1 medium onion,

chopped fine

1 medium carrot, chopped

5 1/2 cups water or

chicken broth

1 box Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice blend with

seasoning packet

1 envelope Lipton Chicken Noodle soup mix

2 cans cream of

chicken soup

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped

2 tablespoon oil

Saute celery, onions and carrots in two tablespoons of oil. In a medium size sauce pan, add water or chicken broth with contents of rice and seasoning packet, celery, onion and carrots along with soup mix. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cream of chicken soup and chicken. Cook ten more minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Andy’s Note: Jenny Pilgrim Moon says that you can use a rotisserie chicken. This sounds fabulous!

Let’s do some desserts next week!

Happy Soup Cooking,

Andy Bedwell

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Alabama Gift Company in downtown Gadsden and The Messenger on Rainbow Drive.

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