A new year has begun. I slept through the “changing of the guard;” I did not hear my phone chirp out a text message from my sister wishing me a Happy New Year.
Several publications I read during December mentioned choosing a word to focus on for the coming months, suggesting it would be more satisfying than making resolutions that only tend to be broken. I selected a word for myself: “joy.” Then I decided to change the word to “peace.” I kept going back and forth in my mind between the two of them, with other words occasionally popping up as well; “hope” was a strong contender.
I had not settled on my word for the year when the Lord spoke into my heart and presented me with the word “obedience.” Oh, my! That is not one I would have chosen for myself. “Joy” was at the top of my list. “Hope” and “peace” were close behind it. Why would I choose “obedience” for my word? The others were much more satisfying. They were also much more self-centered.
The Lord reminded me that when I am obedient to Him, I will have all the rest – joy, peace, hope, and so much else besides. Love, strength, endurance, and kindness are just a few of the other benefits. Although there would have been nothing wrong with choosing one of the words I was contemplating, I learned a long time ago that the Lord’s direction is the best way for me to go. I am not sure what “obedience” during 2018 will include; however, I do know that I can trust the One who chose it for me.
2018 has started out cold. Very cold. At 9:00 a.m. New Year’s Day, the temperature outside was negative 8 degrees. Brrrr! It is no wonder that I have been in a “soup-er” mood lately. Chili, potato broccoli soup, and vegetable soup are all residing in my refrigerator. Plus there are leftovers from a new recipe I tried for Mulligatawny Soup (which turned out to be delicious). I am including it this week, plus a couple of others that will help to enjoy January’s designation as National Soup Month.
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup butter
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup white rice, or quick-cooking rice blend
1-1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch dried thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream, heated
Sauté onions, celery, carrot, and butter in a large soup pot until vegetables soften. Add flour and curry powder; cook 5 more minutes. Add chicken broth; mix well; bring to a boil. Simmer about 1/2 hour. Add apple, rice, chicken, and seasonings. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done. Just before serving, add hot cream.
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (14-1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (16-ounce) cans pinto beans, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can creamed corn
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups beef broth (may use chicken broth)
2 (15-ounce) cans tamales, drained and cut into 1-inch pieces
Cook ground beef, chopped onion and pepper in a Dutch oven until ground beef is browned, stirring until meat crumbles.
Add tomatoes, beans, corn, salt, pepper, and broth; simmer 1 hour.
Stir in tamale pieces and simmer 3 minutes, just enough to heat tamales. Serve immediately.
Tomato Soup with Cheese Dumplings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (I used crushed)
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon oregano
6 tablespoons milk
In large pot over medium-low heat, combine olive oil, onion celery, and garlic. Cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender (about 5 minutes). Raise heat to medium. Stir in broth, tomatoes, brown sugar, and salt. Simmer 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée slightly, leaving a few tomato chunks. Cover and return soup to a simmer. (Use crushed tomatoes and omit the blender if you do not mind a more chunky soup.)
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine baking mix, Parmesan, and oregano. Add milk and stir until dough forms. With flour-dusted hands, roll dough into 12 balls. Add dumplings to soup; cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through (10 minutes.)
Makes 10 cups.