Warm up with some comforting soup

Although our winter has been mild, we still crave hearty winter dishes to get us through these heavy overcast days. A good choice is a meal centered on soup, loaded with protein and vegetables, and throw in some potatoes if you like.

The recipe I give you today will be absolutely delicious just by itself, but feel free to add and subtract items that are favorites to you and your family. For example, some folks might not care for lima beans, so try white beans or black beans instead.

Don’t forget to make a large batch of this soup and divide it. Refrigerate overnight, then freeze. As I write this, I have three different kinds of soup in my freezer.

Cornucopia Stew

Serves 10

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, bite-size pieces

1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into bite-size pieces

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

3 Tbl vegetable oil

2 medium onions, small dice

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red bell pepper stemmed, seeded and chopped

1 rib celery, cleaned, small dice

¼ cup all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken broth

4 cups beef broth

2 bay leaves

½ tsp oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

2 15oz cans diced tomatoes with juice

12 oz red potatoes, cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces

2 cups frozen baby lima beans

2 cups frozen sweet corn

Heat oil in a large fry pan and brown cut-up meats a small portion at a time so as not to crowd. Remember, you want to brown these pieces of meat, not steam them. When browned, set aside. Add a little more oil to your pan and sweat the onions for 6 to 8 minutes on medium heat, adding the bell pepper and celery about half way through and then adding the garlic for the last minute. Stir in flour and cook for about one more minute, add the broth, bay leaves, oregano and thyme and bring to a simmer, do not boil.

Add in the browned pieces of meat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in potatoes, beans and corn; simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Adjust the soup with salt and pepper, and enjoy.

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