Roast Beef and Barley Build the Best Cold Weather Soup

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2015. Since most of us have been experiencing bitter cold temperatures lately, we thought a good, hot soup is just what we need. Enjoy!

After a frantic few weeks of holiday cooking, you’re probably ready to put together some meals that are nearly heat and eat. Beef Barley Soup can do that for you, putting roast beef leftovers to good use, and adding barley for more protein and staying power. We usually plan for a chuck or arm roast that will allow us to have a pound or so of meat left, and we usually freeze a fourth to a half batch of the beef and barley soup made from the leftover beef. Continue reading

Dill Pickles, Potatoes Combine for Unforgettable Soup

Pickle Picker at Lehmans.com

Dive into a jar or crock and grab pickles easily! The Pickle Picker, at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, and at Lehmans.com.

Back in January 2011, we ran this recipe along with a couple of others to wind up National Soup Month that year. Now, due to popular demand, here it is again, but this time, we’re just starting the month!

Kathi, one of our Customer Service Representatives contributed this lip-smacking soup. And although it may sound a little odd, the combination of the potato and the tangy pickle really do balance each other well, underpinned by the rich chicken stock.

Dill Pickle Soup:

6 cups chicken stock
4 large dill pickles, shredded
1/2 cup pickle juice from pickle jar
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced potatoes
2 T. instant dissolve flour
1 cup milk
2 T. butter, softened

In a large saucepan or pot, combine stock, pickles, juice and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook over low heat until potatoes are tender (10 minutes or so).

Add flour, milk and butter; return soup to a boil and remove from heat. Return pot to the stove and heat through without boiling. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with fresh dill, sour cream and/or real bacon bits or crumbled bacon.

Did you make Cheater Chicken Broth last Friday? Then you know you can easily whip up 6 cups for this recipe if you prefer homemade to store-bought stock.

Best breads: Serve with potato rolls, hearty wheat bread or rolls or piping hot buttermilk biscuits.

Have a unique soup recipe? Send it along. We’d love to see it. Email to countrylife@lehmans.com.

Quick Cheater Chicken Broth

Stainless steel 8 qt stockpot

Find this 8 quart, sturdy, even-heating stockpot at Lehman’s in Kidron or at Lehmans.com. For conventional or wood ranges.

You want to make your own homemade soup, but you just feel like you don’t have the time to make your own chicken stock. Is that what’s troubling you, Bunky?

Fuss no more. This “cheater” chicken broth is simple, quick and is great for the busiest households. Next time you buy (or defrost) uncooked chicken for a meal, snag an extra 4 to 6 bone-in breast pieces, or 2 to 3 whole breast portions with the bones. Skin chicken if you want a lower-fat, clearer broth. I always skin my chicken and trim the fat off the meat when I make this broth.

Bones are what give great flavor to broths and stocks. This recipe is a broth–a hot liquid made with just the chicken pieces and few other ingredients. Stocks include bones, but also add veggies, usually root vegetables, for added flavor.

Cheater Chicken Broth
(makes about 8 cups)
4 to 6 bone-in chicken breast pieces
8 cups water -OR- 4 cups water and 2 cups white wine
Spices to taste: salt, garlic powder, poultry seasoning

Pour liquid into large stockpot, and add chicken pieces. Season with 1-2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and one teaspoon poultry seasonings.

Blunt-End Stainless Steel Slotted Spoons from Lehmans.com.

Long handles and perforated bowls make Blunt-End Slotted Stainless Steel Spoons perfect for soup-making sessions. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or at Lehmans.com.

Simmer mixture at medium heat until chicken is done: 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts and how long your stove takes to warm the liquids. Stir occasionally.

Use a slotted spoon to remove chicken to plate and cool. Adjust seasonings in broth to your taste. Take broth off the heat to cool.

When the chicken pieces cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones, shred meat and return to broth.

At this point, you can serve the broth as is, add veggies to whip up a chicken soup, add dumplings, or pop the broth into the fridge for a day or two (no more, it won’t hold more than that), or freeze the broth for later use.

No matter what you do, you’ll have a tasty base for soup, stews, or dumplings.

• White wine will give you a big punch of flavor, and all the alcohol will steam off during the simmer. If you’ve not cooked with wine before, use 7 cups water and 1 of wine. You may want to increase the amount of wine you use as you get used to cooking with it.

• A squeeze of lemon juice will liven up a water-only broth. If you just use water, add the juice from 1/4 of a lemon as the simmering just starts. It’ll help tenderize the chicken too. If you think it needs more “oomph” add a bit more fresh lemon juice just before serving.

Best breads: With this simple broth, whole wheat saltines or regular saltines do well. My grandad used to float little bits of buttered bread in his chicken broth, and that’s pretty tasty too. Croutons can add texture if you have them handy.

Should you prefer your broth meat-free, use the poached chicken breast sliced in sandwiches, shredded and warmed with Old Carolina Barbeque Sauce, or mixed into this favorite dip.

Spicy Buffalo-Style Chicken Dip
1-12 oz bottle Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
2-8 oz packages cream cheese, cut into cubes
1-16 oz bottle Ranch Dressing
1-28 oz can Lehman’s Canned Chicken (or about 3 cups cooked chicken)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix all the ingredients together. Cook in a crock pot or slow cooker for an hour or two, stirring occasionally.

You can also bake it at 350°F for 30 minutes if you don’t want to wait! Serve with tortilla chips, crackers and celery.

Cowboy Chili Is Hearty, Homemade Fast Meal

Royal Blue Enamelware Bowls at Lehmans.com

Any soup is tastier in Royal Blue Enamelware bowls. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or at Lehmans.com.

Chili is a hot favorite at the Johnson household, but since we both work, time can be an issue. The crock pot doesn’t always get set up on a workday morning, or we’re out of our stash of browned hamburger in the freezer.

But Cowboy Chili doesn’t need cooked all day. In fact, you can whip it up in about an hour. It’s rich, chunky, and scoops up well on corn chips. (I favor the lime-flavored ones made by our neighbors at Shearer’s.) Continue reading