Two Sisters Cook: Soup’s on! Super soups for a winter day

Published 3:24 pm Friday, January 12, 2018

Temperatures are dropping and that means one thing when it comes to cooking. Soups on! Everyone has a favorite soup recipe to share and everyone is always looking for new soup recipes. Today my sister and I are meeting to share a bowl of soup and to discuss our favorite recipes.

Lucy: My friend Pat in Tampa and I both subscribe to “Southern Living” and like to compare the recipes that we’ve tried. Recently she mentioned their Southern Wedding Soup. She made it for guests. One husband was doubtful but after trying a bowl, went back for seconds! It’s a chicken stock base with pasta but also has meatballs in it.

Linda: Oh, I remember this soup. My mother-in-law made it every Easter. It was called Italian Wedding Soup. It was the soup course of a big Italian meal.

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Lucy: The meatballs are made with half ground pork and half ground sirloin. I used my large tablespoon size cookie scoop to size and form them. They’re baked in the oven and added to the bowl when you fill it with the soup and pasta.

Linda: Sounds like a home made yeast roll and salad would make a complete meal.

Lucy: I find a lot of my soup recipes in “Taste Of Home” magazine. The recipes are submitted by their readers. I’ve saved a special soup issue from 2011. It has my favorite Tortellini Soup recipe. I’ve made some today so we can enjoy some for lunch while we think about soup.

Linda: This is delicious. Do you use the refrigerated tortellini or the dried. And what is it filled with, cheese?

Lucy: I find it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store along with other fresh pastas. I usually use the cheese style, but spinach would also be good. I use Jimmy Dean pre-cooked breakfast sausage. Since this is an Italian recipe, a few slices of crusty Italian bread makes a meal.

Linda: And since it’s Italian, maybe some Tuscan or garlic extra virgin olive oil for dipping the bread would be good. I know there are olive oil stores in Landrum and Tryon to purchase your favorite flavor oil.

Linda: My all time favorite soup is tomato. My childhood memories of soup always include Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches made with Velveeta. My long time school friend, Mary, remembers that we would put the sandwich in the bowl and pour the soup over it.

Lucy: Well, I still do pour the soup over my grilled cheese. Or if I just have croutons to float on top, I always add some Parmesan. Tomato soup and cheese just belong together.

Linda: Over the years my taste buds have matured and I prefer an upgraded tomato soup. And my grilled cheese is usually made using Italian bread and a combination of cheeses like cheddar and Swiss. It’s a perfect, quick meal for a Friday night when you’ve had a stressful week and have a family to feed. My Tomato-Basil recipe was developed by my step-daughter, Lisabeth. The basis is still Campbell’s but by adding some additional ingredients, it’s more on the ‘gourmet’ level. My sister-in-law, Judy, owns a gift shop/restaurant on the Ohio River in Indiana. This Tomato-Basil recipe is the favorite and served everyday in her cafe.

Lucy: Well let’s share our recipes so people can warm up with a hearty bowl of soup.

Southern Wedding Soup Southern Living



1 lb ground sirloin 1 lb ground pork

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion ½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

About ½ cup grated Parmesan ¼ cup fresh, flat parsley

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce 2 tsp salt

2 large eggs lightly beaten


1 Tbs olive oil 1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 cup chopped celery 2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp salt 10 cups chicken stock

¼ cup jar basil pesto sauce (Lucy uses Barilla)

1 cup uncooked ditalini pasta (about 4 ½ ounces)

About 5 oz Baby Kale, spinach, and/or arugula


Prepare the Meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400. Combine first nine ingredients.

Mix gently. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon ot cookie scoop, form mixture into balls and place on baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and lightly browned about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm.

Prepare the Soup: Heat olive oil in dutch oven over medium high. Add onion, celery,

Garlic, and salt. Cook about 5-6 minutes until onions are soft. Stir in chicken stock and pesto. Reduce heat to medium, simmer until about 10 minutes. Increase heat

to medium high. Bring to a boil and add pasta; cook until al dente about 5 minutes. 

Place 4 meatballs and 1 ½ cups of soup in each of 8 bowls. Float greens on top.

Italian Tortellini Soup Taste of Home


1 seven ounce package pork breakfast sausage links

2  14 ½ cans Italian stewed tomatoes

2 cups water

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped celery

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1/8 to ¼  tsp cayenne pepper

1/8 to ¼ tsp hot pepper sauce

1 bay leaf

¾ cup refrigerated tortellini


In a 3 quart saucepan, brown sausage. Drain and cut into bite size pieces. Stir in the next nine ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add tortellini. Bring to a boil reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until pasta is tender. Discard bay leaf. Yields 8 one cup servings

Lisabeth’s Tomato Basil Soup


1 medium onion chopped (about ½ cup)

2 Tbs butter

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp dried basil leaves

1 tsp garlic powder

1 ¼ cup milk

2 pkgs (3 oz each) cream cheese (softened)

2 cans (10 ¾ oz each) condensed tomato soup

2 cans (16 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained


Cook and stir onion in butter in 3 quart saucepan until onion is transparent, 2-3 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in paprika, basil, garlic powder, and cream cheese. Gradually stir in milk and soup; beat with a hand beater until smooth. Stir tomatoes in soup. Heat over medium soup stirring frequently until hot. Makes 8 servings