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Hearty Winter Soups

Well, it is that time of the year again when those brave souls who are left in the southern states go camping in wet, cold conditions. The camp fire is inviting and a great place to sit around and enjoy a steaming, nourishing hot bowl of homemade soup that will warm the innards of the coldest person.

While some hearty winter soups take ages to prepare and cook, and others require a vitamiser to get the best results, here are a couple of recipes that are quicker and easier to have ready in the camp oven, or at home. Enjoy!




Quick Minestrone Soup

2 tblspns oil (or a mix of oil and butter or margarine)
1 onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – minced/crushed (or use 2 tspns bottled/jar variety)
1 carrot – chopped
2 sticks celery – chopped
1 pkt French onion soup
2 cups water
2 cups beef stock
1 to 2 tblspns tomato paste (depending how much tomato flavour you want)
1 lg tin crushed tomatoes (including juice)
1/4 cabbage – shredded
1 x pkt (100 gms) dehydrated, tin or frozen beans
1 tin (420gm) Beef and vegetable soup - optional
1 cup spaghetti – broken into small pieces
1 tin (420gm) baked beans (or one tin of Butter Beans or similar)
salt & pepper

Heat the oil in your camp oven or big saucepan and saute the onion, garlic, carrot and celery until the vegetables are softened - about 5 mins.
Mix the French onion soup with the water. When combined, add to the vegetables in the camp oven, along with the beef stock, tomato paste and tomatoes & juice. Mix well.
Season to taste.
Add the cabbage, beans and beef & vegetable soup (undiluted), mix through and bring the soup to the boil.
Add the spaghetti and simmer for 15 mins.
Add more stock if you want to thin the soup down a little.
Stir in the beans and bring back to near boiling point. Check seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and fresh bread.
Makes a big pot of delicious, flavoursome thick soup. A meal in itself.



Beef & Potato Soup

2 tblspns oil
500gm gravy beef or similar cut (no fat) – diced
3 carrots – finely chopped
3 turnips or parnips – finely chopped
2 onions - finely chopped
1 leek – finely sliced
2 x cloves garlic – grated/minced
4 large potatoes – large diced (Option use a mix of potato and sweet potato)
2 cups water
2 to 3 cups beef stock
1 to 2 tblspns Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper

Heat the oil in your camp oven or big saucepan and brown the beef pieces. Remove.
Add a little more oil if necessary and add the vegetables, and saute for a few mins, or until the onions/leek are softened.
Return the beef to the pan, add the Worcestershire sauce and cover with the water/stock. (You may need a little more liquid – see how it goes.)
Bring to the boil, season to taste.
Cover and simmer gently for 60 mins.
Check seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve topped with some freshly chopped parsley if you’ve got it, along with fresh bread or toast.

Variation: use marrow bones with meat for an extra richness, such as the meat cuts used for Osso Bucco (beef foreshin or knuckles). You could also add some finely chopped celery.
Makes a big pot of hearty, thick soup. A meal in itself.
Hint: to make it even more appetising to your meat-eating man, add more meat.




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