I'm doing my best not to whine about the cold weather. In part because I know the vast majority of the country is suffering with it too, most of whom have it a lot worse than we do. And because it's only November. If I start complaining now, just think how tired we'll both be of my griping by the end of February. Still, I didn't move to Florida for freezing temperatures, especially before Thanksgiving.
The only saving grace for today's plunging temperatures was a simmering pot of homemade soup. We eat a lot of soup in chilly weather. In fact, our soup bowls have had a regular night on the dining table for the past couple of weeks. We fudged a bit on the soup-like weather until today but they still were quite tasty.
Tonight's fare was this Hearty Meatball Soup with Spinach which sounds more complicated than it actually is. It's one of Publix's Apron Meals, their signature recipe program based on readily available ingredients and simple cooking techniques. On the weekends they have a kiosk in the store where someone is cooking whatever the featured recipe of the week is and offering samples.
This soup comes together in about thirty minutes although I generally cook the vegetables a little longer than the recipe calls for...and I add more of them too. That's one of the joys of most soups; you can improvise. Don't want to make the meatballs? I think this soup would be great with shredded rotisserie chicken, and I've definitely subbed ground turkey for the ground beef to lighten it up. I'd miss the spinach but you could leave it out if it's not your thing. I even think it would be good with a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes in it. Just don't leave out the sun-dried tomato pesto; that's where it gets the rich flavor. That and a good-quality chicken stock.
Another soup that tastes like you worked much harder to prepare it than you actually did is this Chicken Tortilla Soup. I've never eaten Max & Erma's version but we enjoy this knock-off. When I made it a few weeks ago, Wayne and I agreed it would be good with a can of black beans in it. I'm always looking for ways to add vegetables, especially it if ups the protein content. And if you're bothered by the Velveeta, substitute a regular cheese and adjust the milk, if necessary.
I'm counting on more seasonal temperatures finding their way back here although the weatherman is predicting a cooler-than-usual winter for our part of the country. As a result, I'm predicting more tummy-warming soup on our menu. It won't be Campbell's but it still will be Hmmm, Hmmm, Good.