Finalist: Kaysie’s Favorite Soup

Kelli Williams, Cedar Hill

3 slices bacon

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 pound spicy Italian sausage

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 shallots, chopped fine

10 ounces kale, chopped

1 1/2 pounds small potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

1 cup sherry

5 cups garlic broth (made with Better Than Bouillon Roasted Garlic)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon each onion powder, season salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic powder

1 package Boursin garlic and herb cheese

1 cup heavy cream

In saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp; remove and reserve. Cook sausage in same pan until browned; remove from pan and reserve. Add oil to pan; add shallots and cook until translucent. Add minced garlic; saute 1 minute. Add sherry and cook another 3 minutes. Pour garlic brother and potatoes into large pot; cook until potatoes are tender. Add reserved sausage and bacon; combine well. Add all seasonings and kale; simmer 20 minutes. Once all flavors have married, add in cheese and stir until combined. Slowly add in cream, stirring constantly. Serve with a garnish of Parmesan cheese and a few red pepper flakes.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Heather Bahr, Arnold

1 pound ground chicken

3 cans (15 ounces) navy beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14.5 ounces) fire roasted tomatoes

3 cups chicken broth

1/4 to 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce

1 cup celery

1 cup frozen corn


Garlic powder


4 ounces cream cheese, cubed

Brown and drain ground chicken; season to taste with salt, garlic and cilantro. Place all ingredients except cream cheese in slow cooker; cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours. Two hours before cooking time is up, add in cubed cream cheese. Serve and enjoy with bleu cheese crumbles or shredded cheese on top.

Italian Wedding Soup

Judy Duncan, Dittmer

1 egg

1 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese

1 cup dry bread crumbs

1 small onion, chopped

2 teaspoons salt, divided

2 teaspoons pepper, divided

2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided

2 pounds ground beef

4 quarts chicken broth

2-4 cups fresh spinach, chopped

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons parsley

3 cups medium shell pasta, cooked according to package directions

In a bowl, combine egg, cheese, bread crumbs, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder; crumble ground beef into bowl and mix thoroughly. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. In soup kettle or Dutch oven, cook meatballs until no longer pink; drain fat. Add brother, spinach, onion powder, parsley and remaining seasonings; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta and heat through before serving. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese. Serves 12.

Notes: Small meatballs work better than larger ones. Bowtie or other shaped pasta may be substituted to accent the soup. Kick up the flavor by adding Fenugreek to the broth.

Bison Burger and Lentil Soup

Robert Duncan, Dittmer

1 pound ground bison

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 carrots, diced

3 ribs celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 quart tomato juice

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups dry lentils, washed well.

1 quart water or venison broth

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Brown meat and onions; add in carrots and celery and saute until veggies are soft. Place in slow cooker; add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.

Southwestern White Chili with Hominy

Robert Duncan, Dittmer

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 white onion, chopped, divided

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bottle (12 ounces) Mexican beer

1 carrot, chopped

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles (May substitute jalapenos)

1 can (15 ounces) hominy, drained - divided

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped - divided

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Red pepper flakes (or cayenne pepper)

Lime wedges

Soft corn tortillas

Heat oil in a 4-6 quart pot on medium-high heat; add pork and brown on all sides. Add about 2/3 of the chopped onion; continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir about 30 seconds. Add beer. When foam subsides, add carrots, chiles, half the hominy, 2/3 of the cilantro, the oregano, salt and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 60 minutes. Mash remaining hominy and add to pot; re-cover and continue cooking another 30 minutes or until meat is fork-tender. If it looks too thick, add more water. Skim off any foam. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with remaining onion and cilantro, chiles, lime wedges and warm tortillas.

Egg Drop Soup

Terri Becker, Festus

2 eggs

4 cups chicken stock (I use bone broth), divided

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

3 scallions, sliced

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 1/2 cups stock, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper; stir cornstarch into remaining stock; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk eggs; set aside. When stock comes to a boil, stir in cornstarch mixture; add onion and stir. Once broth reaches a rolling boil, use a non-slotted spoon to stir in one direction while slowly pouring in egg. They will cook as soon as they hit the broth. Top with extra green onion, if desired, before serving.

15-Bean Supreme Pizza Soup

Kelli Williams, Cedar Hill

1 bag (20 ounces) 15-bean soup mix (set seasoning packet aside)

1 pound breakfast sausage, browned, drained and crumbled

1 package (5 ounces) pepperoni slices

1 green pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

1 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 red pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried oregano

7 cups chicken broth

24 ounces marinara or pizza sauce

1 bag (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Parmesan cheese garnish, if desired

Wash, sort and drain beans; place in slow cooker. In a skillet, brown sausage; drain and pat with paper towel to absorb as much grease as possible. Add to slow cooker. Add next 8 ingredients; stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours (do not open the lid during cooking). Add sauce; stir and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, sprinkle with cheese and red pepper.

Easy Loaded Potato Soup

Beth Rodgers, Imperial

1 can (10.75 ounces) cream of celery soup

2 cans (10.75 ounces) cream of mushroom soup

1 large can (26 ounces) cream of chicken soup

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled (save 1/4 cup for garnish)

1 quart heavy cream

1 bag (16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 carton (12 ounces) sour cream

Potatoes, cooked and cubed (about 3/4 of a 5-pound bag) -- or 5 cans diced potatoes, drained

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot and heat through. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t stick to bottom of pot. Serve in a bowl topped with a pinch of crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Millie Miller, Hillsboro

1 pound ground chicken

1 onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon garlic, diced

3-4 cups chicken broth

2-3 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed tomato soup

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 can (14.5 ounces) petite tomatoes, diced

3 cups mixed vegetables, frozen

Brown chicken, onion and garlic together; drain. Stir in broth, then add potatoes, tomato soup, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and bay leaf. Cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add frozen vegetables. Cook 15-20 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

Potato Soup

Claudia Foran, House Springs

6 potatoes, cubed

1 onion, cubed

1 celery rib, chopped

1/2 to 1 stick butter

1/2 cup shredded cheese, plus more for garnish

1/2 to 1 cup milk or heavy cream

Instant potato flakes, as desired

Bacon crumbles

Salt and pepper

4 chicken bouillon cubes (optional)

Place potatoes, onion and celery in a pot; cover with water and cook until vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add butter, shredded cheese and milk; cook on low heat. To thicken, slowly add instant potato flakes until soup reaches desired consistency. To serve, ladle into bowls and top bacon pieces and shredded cheese.

Optional: Add four chicken bouillon cubes for even better taste.

Lentil Sausage Soup

Missy Mehringer, Eureka

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

2/3 cup chopped celery

4 carrots, sliced

8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

6 cups unsalted chicken stock

1 1/2 cups dried lentils

6 sprigs thyme

3 bay leaves

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

9 ounces fresh baby spinach

In a large pot, heat oil. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add sausage; cook about 3 minutes. Add stock, lentils, thyme and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Add parsley, salt, pepper and spinach; cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves before serving. Serves 8.

Swiss Potato Soup

Joyce Shepherd, De Soto

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 cups seasoned mashed potatoes (leftover or prepared from instant)

2 cups milk

2 cups grated Swiss cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

Crisp cooked bacon, crumbled


Melt butter in large pot; add onion and cook until transparent. Add potatoes and milk; blend well (Can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for up to 2 days). Stir in cheese, salt and pepper; heat slowly until cheese melts (do not boil).

Garnish with bacon and chives to serve.

Four Bean Chili Soup

Patsy Jens, Hillsboro

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 can (15 ounces) tomatoes

1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 can (15 ounces) small white beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) light kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup vegetable broth

1 can (4 ounce) diced mild green chiles

1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and bell pepper; cook and stir 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic, tomato paste, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, broth, chiles and chocolate; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from stove and stir in vinegar.

Makes 8-10 servings.

“I have been a vegetarian over 50 years. This is my favorite soup recipe. You can add meat if you like, and I grate up cheddar cheese on top. Goes good with cornbread.”

Swiss Potato Soup

Elaine Miller, Fenton

5 bacon strips, diced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups water

4 medium potatoes, peeled

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups 2-percent milk

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

In a saucepan, cook bacon until crisp; remove to paper towels. Drain pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Saute onion in the drippings until tender. Transfer to soup pot and add water, potatoes, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 7-10 minutes. Combine flour and milk and whisk until smooth; gradually stir into potato mixture and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, about two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Sprinkle with bacon.

Serves four.

“Need something quick to prepare on a busy weeknight? You’ll get hearty soup on the table in 30 minutes flat!”