When you want a simple but filling lunch, a bowl of hot soup and a tasty sandwich seem perfect.
Recently, returning home after several weeks away, I felt a little like Old Mother Hubbard. I had not yet had a chance to replenish my kitchen pantry, but I wanted some soup.
Learning to utilize whatever you find in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer is important. You probably won’t believe what I ended up putting in my pot of soup — and it turned out to be one of the best vegetable beef soups I have tasted in a long time.
I found a large can of whole tomatoes, a large can of mixed vegetables, a can of Rotel tomatoes and a can of cream of celery soup. (I usually prefer cream of mushroom soup, but didn't find any in the pantry, so I had to use what was available.)
After combining these with two cups of water, I remembered how much I like taco soup, and decided to see if I had any taco seasoning mix and ranch dressing mix. I found a package of ranch dressing, but only about a half-package of taco seasoning.
To compensate for the lack of enough taco seasoning, I decided to add a teaspoon of cumin.
I also added an envelope of onion soup mix.
It still needed something. "Beef," I thought. Just as I was about to say, "I don’t have any," a great idea came to mind. I had two individual servings of meatloaf in the freezer that my granddaughter Meagan had made.
I added this to the soup pot, and then tasted what proved to be a great new vegetable beef soup.
My niece, who lives in Arkansas, and I have an e-mail recipe swap. She is always sending me recipes that she likes, and I do the same for her.
Several years ago, she sent me a wonderful pimiento-and-cheese recipe. She told me that she got it from two elderly nuns who operated a gift shop. She had become friends with them, and their main topic of conversation was food.
When she sent me the recipe, there wasn’t even a name for it. I decided that the perfect name for this delicious spread should be "Friendship Pimiento and Cheese."
My pimiento-and-cheese spread is very simple but tasty. It was a favorite with my longtime friend and assistant, Mauna.
I can still remember the smile that came to her face when I told her that I was going to make us a pimiento-and-cheese sandwich.
To make the sandwich even better, grill it!
FRIENDSHIP PIMIENTO AND CHEESE
- 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
- 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon finely grated onion
- ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces shredded mild Cheddar cheese
Combine first 5 ingredients and mix well. Stir in cheese. Store in refrigerator up to a week. Makes 4 cups.
SIMPLE PIMIENTO AND CHEESE SPREAD
- 8 ounces American cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons diced pimiento
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
Combine cheese and pimiento. Mix well and stir in mayonnaise.
Contact Prudence Hilburn at email@example.com.