Food & Drink

Souper Bowl: Three soups that will get you extra points at your Super Bowl party

Cheeseburger chowder for an In the Kitchen With Nina food feature about Super Bowl party foods. Photographed in Robins, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Cheeseburger chowder for an In the Kitchen With Nina food feature about Super Bowl party foods. Photographed in Robins, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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The time is right for having a party! Take the edge off winter by inviting your friends and neighbors over to watch the biggest football game of the year.

The Super Bowl has a special place in my heart — as I think I’m one of only two Cedar Rapidians who has ever played in the Super Bowl. Of course, we all know that one of our hometown heroes, Kurt Warner, put Cedar Rapids on the map with his Super Bowl win a few years ago. But I played in the Super Bowl, too, albeit, I played clarinet in my college band that was the featured halftime show. This was a long time ago when I was a freshman in college. Humor me, OK?

Then, several years ago, I wrote and published a cookbook titled “Tailgates to Touchdowns: Fabulous Football Food.” Through the years, I have developed numerous recipes for tailgate and Super Bowl parties.

Choose from one of my super “Super Bowl” soup recipes for a deliciously doable menu — one that will make you and your guests want to stand up and cheer. You can have everything ready ahead of time — meaning you get to enjoy the game and your guests, too.

Many people prepare their favorite chili recipe for the biggest of all football-watching days of the year. However, I wanted to share some other great soup recipes for you to consider serving this year.

Each of my recipes feature completely different meats and flavors, although they all use frozen hash brown potatoes to cut out a bit of time needed in the preparations. I’ve taken out most of the work and simplified my recipes to keep things fast and easy for the cook. Plus, cooking is more doable than ever when you use some convenience food products. I only recommend using convenience foods when they provide excellent quality and taste.

Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Chowder is super easy to make. This Mexican flavor-filled soup features chicken and uses convenient chicken broth, frozen hash browns, gravy mix and prepared salsa to keep it simple.

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This hearty chowder can be as hot and spicy as you like — depending on the salsa (mild, medium or hot) you use. The zesty Mexican flavors in this chowder will satisfy any football fan.

French Ham and Cabbage Soup also is worthy of serving at your Super Bowl party. It’s French-inspired flavor combination is flavor-packed, but low in carbs and calories, plus it’s gluten free. I think this soup just makes you feel healthier after you eat it.

Cheeseburger Chowder is one of my personal MVP’s favorite soups (my husband is my MVP). It’s an appetizing and substantial meat and potatoes soup — rich in beef, potatoes and cheese.

I cooked all three soup recipes on my cooktop, because if you follow my method of preparation on each recipe, you can quickly prepare rich-tasting soups. But, when having a party, I like to serve soup in slow cookers to keep them hot. People can help themselves throughout the game, and it’s a worry-free way to entertain.

Whether you choose to serve one or all three of my soups at your party, round out the menu with warm bread or rolls, plus some veggies and dip on the side. Be sure to add all the other extras like appetizers, desserts and beverages that you enjoy while watching the game.

l Nina Swan-Kohler is a home economist, culinary professional, recipe developer, cookbook author and cooking school director/instructor. She teaches cooking classes and corporate team-building cooking classes in her Robins home. To get a copy of Nina’s cooking class schedule or for more information, email nina@cookingwithnina.net or visit www.cookingwithnina.net

RECIPES

Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Chowder

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup thinly sliced celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2-inch cubes

1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth

4 cups (about 1/2 a 32-ounce bag) frozen and thawed hash brown potatoes (cubes)

1 package (2.75 ounces) country gravy mix (Pioneer Brand recommended)

2 cups milk

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded processed cheese food (such as Velveeta), finely shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 jar (16 ounces) chunky salsa (mild*, medium or hot)

1 can (4 ounces) chopped fire-roasted green chilies

In large saucepan, cook and stir onion, celery and garlic in oil over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add chicken; cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Add potatoes; cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally. Return to boiling. Dissolve gravy mix in milk; stir into boiling mixture. Reduce heat; add cheese, salsa and green chilies. Cook and stir over low heat until cheese is melted.

*I prefer using mild salsa in this recipe.

Source: Nina Swan-Kohler

French Ham and Cabbage Soup

Makes 10 large servings.

Make this hearty soup if you are watching your carbs or calories intake. 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)

2 cups chopped celery (about 5 stalks)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth

4 cups water

2 teaspoons ham soup base (Better than Bouillon Brand recommended)

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1 pounds chopped ham (about 2 1/2 cups)

6 cups shredded cabbage

3 to 4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups southern-style frozen and thawed hash brown potatoes (cubes)

1 can (14 ounces) red or white beans, rinsed and drained

In Dutch oven or 4-quart stock pot, cook and stir celery, onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until onion is translucent (about 8 minutes). Add chicken broth, water, bouillon, parsley, bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme, and marjoram; bring to a boil. Add ham, cabbage and carrots; cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until cabbage is translucent, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and beans; cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cooked through. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with French Bread or rolls. Source: Nina Swan-Kohler

Cheeseburger Chowder

Makes about 8 servings.

This is one of my husband’s favorite soups.

2 pounds lean (90/10 or 93/7) ground beef

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper

1 carton (32 ounces) beef broth

4 cups southern-style frozen and thawed hash-brown potatoes (cubes)

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper

2 cups or 1 8-ounce package shredded triple Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)

1/4 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes (optional)

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In Dutch oven or 4-quart stock pot, cook and stir ground beef, onion, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until beef is brown and onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Stir in potatoes. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in 4-cup glass measure, whisk together milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Microwave on High for 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in cheese until cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into beef and potato mixture. Simmer for 3 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with more shredded cheese, green onions and tomato, if desired. Source: Nina Swan-Kohler

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