Garden City Telegram

Dear Heloise: I love homemade soup and so does my husband. We will sometimes just take a couple cans of tomato juice or vegetable juice from our pantry, toss in some frozen or fresh veggies, and with some thick crusty bread, we made a delicious meal for two. I like to add some beef bouillon too and a few extra spices. My husband likes to add macaroni, but either way it's always a hearty meal. It's quick and easy and very tasty! - Patricia G., Taos, N.M.


Dear Heloise: You had a cheddar cheese soup that my son loved, and since he'll be coming home on leave I'd like to make it for him. But I can't find the recipe. Would you reprint it? I read your column every day and won't miss the recipe if you reprint it for me. - Janice W., Rochester, Mich.

Janice, I get numerous requests for this recipe, so here it is:

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 small zucchini, halved and sliced

2 tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

1 celery stick, sliced

1 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, halved and sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

4 1/2 cups beef broth

1 1/2 cups tomato juice

1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a stock pot, add the first nine ingredients and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in basil, wine, salt, pepper and parsley just before serving. Sprinkle the top of each serving with cheddar cheese.

If you like this recipe and enjoy soup any time of the year, you will like my pamphlet "Heloise's Spectacular Soups." Just go to www.Heloise.com, or send $5 along with a stamped (75 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Soups, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001.

Here's a tasty tip: Puree celery and onions in a blender and add to most soups to add extra flavor. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: With warmer weather on its way, my family likes to enjoy a cold drink of lemonade or sometimes a soft drink. I take an ice cube tray and freeze ice cubes from the lemonade or soft drink so the drink stays cold and the ice doesn't water down the taste. When I make punch for a party, I do the same thing with an ice ring so the punch doesn't end up tasting bland. - Tanya C., Springdale, Ark.


Dear Heloise: Here where I live we have beautiful azaleas, and I've found a way to make my azaleas bloom and thrive better than most! I take leftover coffee and use it in my garden, then sprinkle the coffee grounds around the plants. Azaleas are an acid-loving plant, and by adding a little more acidity (careful - not too much) it helps to nourish my azaleas and makes them grow abundantly. - Darla K., Metairie, La.

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