Vegetable Soup and Corn Bread: A Cold Day’s Feast

For as long as I can remember on cold days like today, my dad would make vegetable soup and corn bread. Dad’s corn bread is famous around his circle of friends. Mine isn’t as good as his even though I make it exactly the same way. Funny how that works.

As for the vegetable soup it is not a family recipe. This is my version of the creamy vegetable soup served by the chefs at The Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge Tennessee; which if you’ve ever been, you know to be the world’s greatest soup.

First, we will tackle the easier of the two, the soup.  This recipe makes a half gallon of soup, or approximately 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsps corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetables (more or less depending on taste)
  • 1 quart half and half
  • chopped parsley
  • 2 chicken breasts (not in original recipe)
  1. In a large pot melt butter on low heat.
  2. While butter is melting, use two small bowls to combine ingredients.
  3. In the first bowl add onion, garlic, and corn syrup.
  4. In the second bowl mix flour, white pepper, salt, chicken broth, and water.
  5. When butter is melted, add the first bowl to the mix turn up heat to medium and simmer but do not brown.
  6. Add the second bowl and the vegetables.  Continue stirring.
  7. Add half and half.  Simmer until thick, creamy and hot throughout.  Be careful not to bring to a boil, it will stick to the pan if it does.
  8. Cut chicken into chunks.  Brown in a separate pan and add to soup. (Optional ingredient)
  9. Garnish with Parsley and serve.

Now for the Cornbread.

You will find this recipe on the back of a Martha White cornmeal bag, but they do not tell you the finer points that I will explain here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Crisco shortening
  • 2 cups Self Rising Corn Meal (I prefer Martha White)
    1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Use a knife to put a small amount of Crisco in your skillets.  It should be enough to coat the skillet’s cooking surface.  When I did it it looked like this:
    3. Put the skillets into the oven to let the Crisco melt.
    4. Meanwhile mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a pouring nozzle, like a large measuring cup.
    5. When the skillets look like this:they are hot enough.  Notice, the shortening is liquified.  It is very hot.  You will need two oven mitts, one inside the other, to handle the skillets.
    6. Pour the corn meal mixture into the skillet places.  Remember it will rise and spread out, so don’t fill them completely up.
    7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until they look like this:
    8. Switch oven to broil for three minutes, or until they are brown on top and look like this:
    9. Remove from oven once again using two oven mitts.  Corn bread should fall out easily.  If not use a fork to nudge it out.

A note on cornbread skillets: The secret to good cornbread lies in the skillet.  Some people use regular cast iron skillets.  I do not like these for 2 reasons.  First, they make the cornbread too thick and it is drier.  Second, since they are washed periodically the cornbread flavor is lost.  Which brings me to my next point, washing.  NEVER wash your cornbread skillets.  All you should do with them is cook corn bread, so after your are done wipe them out with a towel and store them.  This makes them seasoned for the next time.

If you have anymore questions about corn bread or the soup feel free to leave a comment below and I will answer to the best of my ability.  Happy cooking.

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4 Comments on “Vegetable Soup and Corn Bread: A Cold Day’s Feast”


  1. Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a risky determination outstanding post!

  2. todays date Says:

    i love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always like new things coming up from it.


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