No matter what the weather is like during the day, chances are there's quite a chill in the night air. Hearty whole-meal soup, a crisp salad and a crusty loaf of bread make comforting cold weather fare. The recipes that follow provide the basis for a meal that is light enough to leave room for dessert yet hearty enough to satisfy. They are equally as delicious as the soup course for a more substantial meal.
These recipes rely on some convenience foods like canned soup, frozen vegetables and puff pastry to make preparation easier--a plus if time is at a premium. Keep in mind, however, that prepacked items usually contain hidden quantities of sodium and sugar and can increase amounts to levels higher than in recipes made completely from scratch. Choose low-sodium and low-sugar alternatives whenever possible.
Turkey Soup en Croute makes good use of turkey carcass. Reserve this recipe for use after a special dinner featuring roast turkey. Otherwise, cut away the meat from the bones of turkey parts, then use the bones to season the broth. A layer of puff pastry makes an impressive crown for the turkey-vegetable soup, which is simmered then browned in the oven before serving.
The traditional Italian vegetable soup, minestrone, takes on a new flavor here when black olives are added to the formula. Two cans of beef broth provide the foundation of the soup, which also features sauteed onion and ground beef, diced eggplant, sliced carrot, tomato puree and shell pasta. TURKEY SOUP EN CROUTE
Turkey carcass or bones from turkey parts
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 whole onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped onions
4 frozen corn on cobs, each cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 egg, beaten
2 (10x9-inch) sheets puff pastry
Break up turkey carcass, remove meat from bones (there should be 2 cups) and reserve. Place carcass in large pot and cover with water. Add bay leaf and whole onion. Simmer 1 hour. Remove bay leaf, onion and carcass. Remove any remaining meat from bones. Add with reserved meat to broth.
Add green pepper, carrots, tomatoes, chopped onions, corn cobs and parsley. Simmer 15 minutes. Cool. Fill 2 (1-quart) souffle dishes or casseroles with soup. Brush edge of serving dishes with egg. Arrange pastry over edge, pressing to seal. Trim edge of pastry if needed. Use scraps to make decoration, if desired. Brush top with egg and place in freezer 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees 45 minutes. Makes 8 servings.
PER SERVING: 467 calories; 19 gm protein; 43 gm carbohydrate; 25 gm fat; 365 mg sodium; 570 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 30% Riboflavin 17% Vitamin A 68% Niacin 24% Vitamin C 60% Calcium 04% Thiamine 28% Iron 17% OLIVE-EGGPLANT MINESTRONE
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 pound ground beef
1 small eggplant, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree
2 (14-ounce) cans beef broth
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups pitted black olives, halved
1/2 cup shell pasta
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 teaspoon basil
Saute onion and ground beef in large 3-quart saucepan until browned. Add eggplant, garlic, carrot, tomato puree, broth, pepper and water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add olives, pasta, parsley and basil. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes longer or until pasta is tender. Makes 8 servings.
PER SERVING: 228 calories; 15 gm protein; 24 gm carbohydrate; 8 gm fat; 880 mg sodium; 473 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 23% Riboflavin 13% Vitamin A 14% Niacin 24% Vitamin C 22% Calcium 05% Thiamine 18% Iron 19% CREAMY VEGETABLE-SHRIMP CHOWDER
1 1/2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon
2 cups hot water
4 slices bacon
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups milk
1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
1 (12-ounce) package frozen medium shrimp
Dissolve bouillon in hot water. Cook bacon in 5-quart Dutch oven until lightly crisp. Remove bacon from pan, drain, reserving drippings in pan. Crumble bacon and set aside. Add onion and butter to drippings in pan and cook until tender. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly.
Gradually stir in milk and dissolved bouillon. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add frozen vegetables, shrimp and crumbled bacon. Cook over medium heat just until bubbly, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 6 servings.
PER SERVING: 300 calories; 19 gm protein; 20 gm carbohydrate; 16 gm fat; 650 mg sodium; 560 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 30% Riboflavin 20% Vitamin A 50% Niacin 15% Vitamin C 70% Calcium 20% Thiamine 10% Iron 10%