SOURCE: Smithfield

January 10, 2013 05:00 ET

Soup Essentials

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Jan 10, 2013) - (Family Features) Few things warm your body and soul quite like a bowl of hot and hearty soup on a chilly day. Don't be left out in the cold this winter. Make sure you have a pantry stocked with the right ingredients to make a delicious, comforting soup any time your taste buds desire. Here's what you need:

Grains and Legumes -- Grains, pastas and legumes are a must. They offer filling fiber along with great taste and texture.

  • Brown rice
  • Long grain rice
  • Rigatoni
  • Small pastas such as orzo or ditalini
  • Farfalle
  • Egg noodles
  • Canned beans such as pinto, black, cannellini/white kidney, and lentils
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa or barley

Vegetables -- Adding two or three vegetables to a recipe brings color, flavor and vitamins to your soup.

  • Roasted peppers
  • Canned corn
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery

Broths and Stocks -- For an inexpensive way to season your soup, make your own stock and freeze it for whenever you need it. You can also buy broth at the grocery store and save in your pantry until needed. Either way, make sure to keep a variety on hand for different kinds of soup.

  • Low sodium chicken broth or stock
  • Beef broth or stock
  • Vegetable broth or stock
  • Soup bases, such as turkey, chicken or beef

Proteins -- Make sure to hold onto your leftovers. Ham, bacon, turkey, chicken, beef and sausage can all be great flavor additions. These two soup recipes will help you enjoy every last bite of your remaining Smithfield ham and its rich, smoky flavor.

   
Winter Root Vegetable and Ham Soup 
Serves: 6 
   
2 cups leftover Smithfield ham, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, chopped
4 cups diced butternut squash
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chopped escarole
3 cups vegetable broth
   
   

In medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin; cook 1 minute until fragrant.

Stir in broth, butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, parsnip, Smithfield ham and pepper. Over high heat, heat to boiling; reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Add escarole; cook 5 minutes longer.

   
Hearty Pasta Fagiole with Ham 
Serves: 6 
   
2 cups leftover Smithfield ham, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 16-ounce cans white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 cups ditalini or tubetini pasta, cooked
2 cups chicken broth
  Grated Parmesan cheese
   
   

In 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, in hot oil, cook garlic, about 3 minutes, until softened. Add white kidney beans, tomato, chicken broth, ham and pepper; over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To serve, stir in parsley. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Stock up on soup essentials today so you can enjoy the perfect soup any time you want. You can find more recipes and tips like these at www.smithfield.com.

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