Christmas Soups to Warm Santa’s Heart

Part Two: Making Do for Christmas

Christmas will be here soon and Santa only has $49 to her name and $16 on a food stamp card, that her son receives every month . So Santa still has to put together special meals for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. The trip to the local food bank did not include anything for a holiday dinner, just an assortment of donated canned foods and package foods with a lovely Christmas card. This was the first time Santa has ever been to a food bank and found it embarrassing because she asked if they had a Christmas meal for her family. No they didn’t because they had more families then resources. On the way home she reflected on all the years during holidays that she bought a $20 grocery bag for the needy at her local market to donate, that included a can ham or small turkey. Well, Santa knows there are families far worse off then hers because of all the foreclosures and 99ers. With determination not to dwell on the experience, she musters up some imagination and creativity because she was out of time, out of ideas and out of money.
Great American home cooking started with the recipes and skills that our immigrant grandmothers brought with them. We can still taste their influence in our foods today. Soups was a mainstay in their daily diet and special soups were made for special occasions. The wonderful thing about most soups are very inexpensive to make and a pot full can feed a lot of hungry mouths. They are great when the weather is cold and added to a simple meal of bread, salad and fruit. Soup will make a wonderful meal for Christmas Eve.

German Milk Soup

This is a Pennsylvania Dutch treat that Germans brought with them from the old country. The soup got its name from the milk that is in it. There are many adaptations of this soup and is served still today in Lancaster County by the Amish. It is a hearty soup made of potatoes, carrots, dried beef and milk. The dried beef was a staple in early homes because of no refrigeration. Also dried beef is easy to find in the deli meat section at the grocery. It is not expensive and only a small jar or package is needed. Some dried beef is very salty depending on the way it was cured and you will need to rinse it to remove the salt. I like to add a little parsley just before serving to add a little color to go with the carrots and beef. Makes is more Christmassy. This soup also freezes well if there is any left because it is so yummy.
1 cup of chopped onion or 2 tablespoons of dried chopped onion

2 stalks of celery chopped

¼ cup of butter or margarine

4 ½ cup of peeled diced potatoes (about ¼ inch cube)

3 cups of carrots sliced. or package of frozen crinkled cut carrots

1 teaspoon of salt more can be added later to taste

1/8 teaspoon of black pepper

3 cups of water

3 cups of milk (more can be added if needed)

4 oz. of dried beef (rinsed and chopped)

Sauté onion, celery and butter in a 6 quart kettle. Do not let them brown just until they are tender. Add potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Cook until tender about 30 minutes. Rinse dried beef to remove excess salt and chop. Add beef and milk and heat over low hear but do not boil. The soup should be a little thick you may need to add more mild to thin it or to make it richer. Serves 6.

Pickled Beet Eggs

Traditionally the Amish always serves seven sweets and seven sours at the main meal from canned relishes. Santa doesn’t have all that but a nice tray of sliced picked eggs and beets will make the meal with corn bread and applesauce. Pickled beet eggs are a German tradition mostly at Easter. Once you try these you will be making them often.
I use a big quart jar with lid to make my pickled eggs. I boil the eggs the night before and refrigerate over night the pickled eggs.

6 to 8 eggs hard boiled and peeled.

1 jar of pickled beets (can be found at the can goods section at the store)

Water

Place eggs in jar and add pickled beets with juice. Then add enough water to cover eggs because there isn’t enough juice to cover the eggs. Tighten lid and give a gentle shake to mix water in. Refrigerate over night. Arrange eggs and beets on a plate to serve. I like to cut a couple in half.

Main Corn Chowder Soup

This recipe is a tradition in Aroostook County in Main. It is a very hardy soup and inexpensive to make. The Oneida Indians taught the settlers how to make corn soup and the settlers added the bacon for more flavor. Later potatoes were included to make a chowder. It is wonderful with crackers and tuna salad sandwich . This is an updated version of this soup recipe that welcomed families so long ago to a warm meal in the winter.
5 or 6 slices bacon

2 medium onions. Sliced

3 cups of peels diced potatoes

2 cups of water

1 teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon of pepper

1 tablespoon of dried parsley

2 cans of creamed corn

2 cups of milk

Cook bacon until crisp in a Dutch oven until crisp. Remove bacon to drain and crumble. Set aside. Sauté onion in bacon grease until soft. Add water potatoes, spices and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat cook until tender about 15 to 20 minutes. Add corn and milk and heat. Garnish with bacon and serve.

Green Bean and Potato Soup

This is a soup I grew up with and it is easy to make and fast. You can use bacon or a small piece of pork or ham that you found on sale. The soup has it roots in Northern Germany.
½ pound of bacon chopped ½ inch pieces before cooking

2 stalks of celery chopped

1 onion chopped

2 cans of white navy beans

2 cans of green beans

4 cups of peeled diced potatoes

2 cans of carrots or frozen sliced carrots.

2 quarts of water

2 bay leaves (optional)

1 teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon

1 tablespoon of parsley

Add all ingredients into a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until potatoes is tender, about 25 minutes. Serve with corn bread and pickled eggs or deviled eggs.

There are many other soups that Santa can make from dried beans and peas. They are very cheap and the recipes usually is on the bag of dried beans. She feels better now because she found most of what she needed in her pantry for the soup she picked to serve on Christmas Eve. She plans to make corn bread from a box mix because it is easy and in her tiny budget. To make it just a little bit special meal she is mixing a bottle of lemon soda with fruit juice to make a punch for the kids. Oh hell …might as well serve it on the good china and polish the silver. That might make it real special. Maybe Christmas Eve won’t be so bad with soup to warm Santa’s heart.

10 thoughts on “Christmas Soups to Warm Santa’s Heart

  1. This is so delightful.

    You asked me about a crock pot. The dollar crock pot from the Salvation Army but I will get a new one next week with a Target Card I received today.

    There is something magical about cooking and your recipes. The ingredients wed together and produce something more than the sum of their parts.

    Merry Christmas.

    1. Be sure you get a crock pot that has a lift out crock because it is easier to wash. They make them shaped now to put a whole chicken in them flat. That is the one I have and it is nice. The chicken get to set on the low heat evenly.

      You have a nice Christmas too. Enjoy the snow and ducks for me.

  2. Thank you, Momoe! I’m glad you added more recipes. I’m definitely going to try the green bean and potato soup first. That just sounds so yummy.

    Being on a tight budget, I appreciate these recipes and your willingness to share them. Thanks.

    1. I will share more with you. I am getting a new computer in a few days and won’t have such a problem posting. This blog had font problems and didn’t paste well. It didn’t paste over there either very well.

  3. petit4chocolatier

    Thank you for this story. It is sad and so true for many. Tears in my eyes with the good china on Christmas Eve. Your recipes are wonderful! I am going to attempt the corn chowder!

  4. I wrote this a couple of Christmas ago on another political blog site. I quickly reblogged this to share the German Milk Soup recipe. In the current political climate, it is good to reminde people that there are many who have a hard time trying to keep their families fed right now. Nice families, that are not lazy or free loaders. And always thanks for stopping by and reading my blogs

  5. Pingback: Making Do at Christmas Part 1 – Trkingmomoe's Blog

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