Made With Love

Winter nights in Beaufort County made better with soup and cornbread

I come from a bread family.

My daddy loved bread and insisted we have some variation of it with each meal, including fresh biscuits every morning.

Over the course of my life, I’ve made many, many loaves of bread for my husband, children and friends.

This past Thanksgiving, my daughter Tonya made sure to request biscuits for at least two of the meals we had. I, of course, granted this request. My son Billy wanted my cornbread dressing at our main meal. Again, I consented.

Except, this year I made the mistake of trying to get away with buying a cornbread dressing mix from the store. My family saw the bag and, well, let’s just say that wouldn’t quite do. Alas, I had to start from scratch, which I did happily.

My grandchildren — the ones who live in Beaufort — love cornbread. And though they find the boxed version satisfactory, nothing beats the real thing.

I can’t imagine a pot of hot soup on the stove without fresh cornbread to enjoy with it during the winter.

Oh, how I love soup. It’s why I prepare cans of fresh okra and tomatoes during canning season. I know how handy they’ll be when I want to whip up a pot of soup.

A pot of homemade soup really does heal the body and mind.

What a way to spend a day: baking bread and preparing some soup. Today I share a few favorites from my recipe box.

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.

Chicken Soup

1  1/2 pounds chicken wings

6 cups water

3 cups diced tomatoes

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup sliced carrots

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

Place the chicken wings in a large pot. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.

15 Minute Soup

1 can great northern beans

1 cup water

1 chicken or beef bouillon cube

2 (16-ounce) cans diced tomatoes

1 small chopped onion

1 tablespoon basil

1 tablespoon parsley

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 package frozen chopped spinach

 1/2 cup whole grain macaroni

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except spinach and macaroni. Heat until liquid comes to a boil. Stir in and break up the spinach, bring to a boil again. Stir in macaroni and simmer until macaroni is tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add water if needed.

Cornbread

2 cups yellow cornmeal

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1  1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal and flour mixture. Add sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the milk, oil and eggs. Add the flour-cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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