January / 2004
Kentucky Cooks

Quick soups & sandwiches
by: Linda Allison-Lewis

January finds many of us exhausted from the holidays and not quite up to preparing more fussy meals. You don’t have to. Snuggle up on a cold winter night with a mug of soup and a hearty sandwich that will be every bit as satisfying as a meal that took hours to fix.


QUICK VEGETABLE SOUP
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 crushed bay leaf
2 (15-oz.) cans crushed or diced tomatoes
4 cups cold water
4 chicken or beef (your choice) bouillon cubes
1 (15-oz.) can peas
1 (15-oz.) can corn
1-1/2 cups chopped fresh carrots (or 1 can baby carrots)
1 (15-oz.) can green beans
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion in olive oil until tender. Add bay leaf and tomatoes. Stir for 2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add bouillon cubes and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add vegetables, and cook over low heat 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 8.


RUEBEN SANDWICHES
8 slices rye bread, toasted if desired
1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
4 slices Swiss cheese
8 thin slices corned beef

Spread four slices of rye bread with Thousand Island dressing. Layer each slice with sauerkraut, cheese, and corned beef. Top with remaining slices of bread. Cut diagonally and serve. Note: I like to microwave each sandwich just a little before slicing to slightly melt the cheese. Serves 4.


NO FUSS PASTA SOUP
2 cups chicken broth
8 oz. frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup orzo pasta
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Croutons

Cook chicken broth over medium heat until boiling. Set aside. Boil spinach, in enough water to cover, about three minutes and drain. Cook pasta in boiling water until tender. Drain. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Add egg mixture, spinach, and pasta to chicken broth. Simmer, whisking occasionally, for five minutes. Ladle into mugs and serve with croutons. Serves 2.


SMOKED SALMON SANDWICHES WITH
CAPER CREAM CHEESE

8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon capers
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 slices thin wheat bread
8 thin slices smoked salmon

In a food processor, blend cream cheese, capers, salt, and pepper. Spread mixture on four slices of bread. Add salmon to cover cream cheese spread. Cover with remaining slices of bread. Cut sandwiches in half. Serves 4.


ONION SANDWICHES WITH MUSTARD MAYONNAISE
1/2 cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
12 slices wheatberry bread
6 Tablespoons soft cream cheese
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
6 large Romaine lettuce leaves

Mix mayonnaise and mustard together. Spread six slices of bread with one Tablespoon of cream cheese each, and divide mayonnaise and mustard mixture evenly among them.

Separate onion rings and divide evenly among the six sandwiches. Top with lettuce and remaining slices of bread, cut diagonally, and serve. Serves 6.


TURKEY NOODLE SOUP
1 meaty turkey carcass
3 quarts water
4 cups turkey broth
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup canned mushrooms, sliced
Pinch of poultry seasoning
3 oz. uncooked noodles
2 cups diced, cooked turkey meat
1 Tablespoon salt
Pepper to taste

Place turkey carcass in a large pot. Add 3 quarts of water and salt. Heat to boiling and skim off any foam. Cover and simmer two hours or longer. Strain broth and refrigerate. Remove fat from surface. When carcass is cool, pick off meat.

Combine broth with vegetables and seasonings. Heat to boiling. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in noodles. Simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in turkey and heat through. Serves 6-8.


Coming Next Month: Guys’ Favorite Recipes

Linda Allison-Lewis writes from her home in Bullitt County. She is the author of Kentucky's Best-Fifty Years of Great Recipes. Send letters, recipes, or requests to Kentucky Cooks, Linda Allison-Lewis, P. O. Box 40, Hillview, KY 40129.