Southern Cooking: Comforting soups and sweet salads

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By Andy Bedwell

As the weather turns cooler, we Southerners welcome our soups to the family dinner table. So grab your ladles, bowls and spoons to try these delicious and comforting recipes. Remember, a soup is a “soup-er” addition to any kind of meal.

Leftover Vegetable Soup

Leftover roast

Leftover roast vegetables

1 can of corn

1 can of peas

1 can of tomatoes

Small cabbage, chopped

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt to taste

Cut up all of the leftover roast and place it and leftover sauce in a large pan or slow cooker. Add one-half package of dry onion soup and any veggies that were leftover. If there is not enough leftover veggies, add fresh carrots, onions and potatoes. Also add in corn, peas, tomatoes, cabbage, sugar, black pepper and salt.

Simmer the soup on low. If using a slow cooker, cook for two hours on low, stirring fre-quently.

Andy’s Note: My family loves different soups. I serve them over rice, noodles, Chinese noodles and, of course, goo and hot cornbread.

Hash Brown Soup

1 onion, chopped

1 can chicken broth

2 cups water

1 package hash brown potatoes

1 can cream

of chicken soup

1 can cream of celery soup

2 cans milk

1 cup cheddar

cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook onion, broth, water and hash browns until tender. Add canned soups, milk, salt and pepper. Simmer for one hour on low heat. Cheese may be blended in or added to the top of the soup after serving.

Andy’s Note: This recipe is delicious on a cool night. Doug and I love to half a grilled ham, tomato and lettuce sandwich when having this soup.

Apple Salad

1 can crushed pineapple

¼ cup tiny marshmallows

2 tablespoons sugar

2 unpeeled chopped apples

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whipped topping

or Cool Whip

1 cup seedless grapes,

cut in half

2 tablespoons salad

dressing or mayo

½ cup chopped pecans

3 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine grapes, pineapple, marshmallows and sugar. Mix well. Chill at least three hours. Add chopped apples. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, salad dressing and Cool Whip. Stir well.

Andy’s Note: I love a fruit salad during the cold weather months. This is a colorful dish that will enhance your meal.

When in the kitchen, try to remember that “Cooking should be fun and creative,  not stressful!”

Happy 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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