A good time for veg­etable soup

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Write to Heloise at P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, TX 78279-5000; Fax 210-HELOISE; or email [email protected] Heloise.com.

DEAR HELOISE >> At this time of year, my hus­band and I love a good, hearty soup and rolls. Do you have a VEG­ETABLE SOUP recipe?

— Vera in Ohio

DEAR VERA >> Vera, yes, I do have a veg­etable soup recipe, and here it is. You’ll need: 10 1/2 ounces un­salted chicken broth 1/2 cup wa­ter 2 cups frozen mixed veg­eta­bles for soup 16-ounce can toma­toes 1 cup beef, cooked and diced 1 tea­spoon thyme leaves, crushed Dash of pep­per 1/4 tea­spoon salt 1 bay leaf 2 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) nar­rowwidth noo­dles, un­cooked

Heat the broth and wa­ter to­gether. Add the veg­eta­bles, meat and sea­son­ings. Bring to a boil, re­duce heat and boil gen­tly, un­cov­ered, for 15 min­utes. Add the noo­dles and cook un­til they are ten­der — about 10 min­utes. Re­move bay leaf be­fore serv­ing.

If you like this easy-to-pre­pare soup, you’ll love my pam­phlet Heloise’s Spec­tac­u­lar Soups, with many more recipes for chilly evenings. To get a copy, send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self­ad­dressed, long en­ve­lope, to: Heloise/ Soups, P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can or­der it on­line at Heloise.com. Here’s a hint for you: When pre­par­ing veg­eta­bles for veg­etable soup, put enough wa­ter in the pot to cover the veg­eta­bles by at least 2 inches or more.

DEAR HELOISE >> My herbs and spices just don’t seem to re­main fresh for more than a cou­ple of months. Why does this hap­pen?

— Elaine Y., Ren­ton, Wash.

DEAR ELAINE Y. >> Elaine, the prob­lem here is heat. Never store herbs and spices close to a stove be­cause heat is the en­emy of most sea­son­ings. Store all your sea­son­ings in a cool, dry place, and make cer­tain the caps are on very tight.

DEAR HELOISE >> My kitchen sink clogs up fre­quently. How can I stop this prob­lem?

— Diana L., Car­son City, Nev.

DEAR DIANA L. >> Diana, pour 1 cup of bak­ing soda down your kitchen drain, fol­lowed by 1 cup of white vine­gar. It will foam up, and when the foam is start­ing to sub­side, fol­low with a saucepan of boil­ing wa­ter down the drain. From time to time, pour a cup of laun­dry de­ter­gent down your drain, fol­lowed by a saucepan of boil­ing wa­ter to make sure your drain is cleaned of things that could be clog­ging it. Re­mem­ber, never pour grease of any kind down your drains.

WHERE’S THE VANILLA?

DEAR HELOISE >> I love vanilla iced cof­fee. How­ever, the fast-food eatery I fre­quent never puts enough vanilla in my drink. I de­cided to rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion by tak­ing a small bot­tle of the fla­vor­ing with me. I poured the en­tire lit­tle bot­tle in my drink, yet it tasted bit­ter. I couldn’t taste the vanilla at all, and it ru­ined my bev­er­age. Where did I go wrong?

— Jerry in In­di­ana

DEAR JERRY >> Jerry, you can al­ways re­quest to have ex­tra vanilla in your drink at the eatery you go to, but please keep in mind that vanilla is NOT sweet. It’s con­sid­ered an aro­matic spice. The rea­son it tastes so de­li­cious in cook­ies and desserts is be­cause they con­tain enough sugar to off­set the bit­ter­ness of vanilla.

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