Souper Winter Soups

We can’t think of anything more pleasing than coming home to the wonderful aroma of soup that’s been simmering all day. Some are light; others are a hefty meal in themselves. All are delicious and bring some much needed warmth to winter.

Our Nebraska Kitchens cookbooks volumes 1 and 2 are packed with heaping helpings of tasty, warm-to-the-soul soup recipes. There’s also a cornucopia of recipes for desserts, baked goods, main courses and more – all from people with a love of both food and Nebraska. Order yours today for $23.95 each, or get the complete set for only $30. That’s a tasteful savings that – like these soups – will make you feel all nice and warm inside.


Italian Wedding Soup with Meatballs

Julie Rich Farrar, Dayton, Ohio

In the two years she’s been making this Italian wedding soup with meatballs, Julie Rich Farrar has made it for family in her native Nebraska and also for family in Ohio, where she lives now. This soup is a big hit with all. After sharing the recipe with her sister’s family in McCook, those Nebraska relatives couldn’t find the tubetini pasta locally, so Farrar mailed them a big box of pasta. Farrar enjoys this soup with asiago cheese bread and a glass of red wine while toasting her Nebraska roots.

To make the meatballs, place ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, milk, egg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 ¼ inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper to make approximately 40 meatballs. Bake 30 minutes at 350° or until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

To make the soup, heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add onion, carrots and celery, then saute until softened, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock and wine, then bring to a boil. Add pasta to the simmering broth and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Add fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup, and simmer for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in fresh spinach and cook until spinach is just wilted. Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired.



3/4 lb ground chicken 
1/2 lb chicken sausage with casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3 Tbsp milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup diced celery cut into 1/4-inch pieces
10 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
12 oz baby spinach, washed and trimmed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serves 6


Bacon-Potato Chowder

Sandy Jacobs, Central City

This recipe for bacon-potato chowder found its way to Sandy Jacobs’ kitchen while she was living in North Dakota 40 years ago. “It was cold there, and I was looking for a meal that would really warm my family up,” Jacobs said. “I tried this, and my family approved.” She’s been making it ever since.

Saute bacon, onion and celery until tender. Dice potatoes and add broth. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are done. Stir in soup, milk and parsley. Heat through. Add pepper and serve with cracker bread.


8 slices bacon, cut up
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 medium potatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 10.5-oz can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 2 Tbsp dried
pepper to taste

Serves 4


Cheesy Chicken Soup

Marie Smith, Lincoln

Marie Smith of Lincoln isn’t sure where she originally found this recipe for cheesy chicken soup. Since she has a stack of nearly 200 cookbooks she picked up as souvenirs during travels across Nebraska and beyond, we can’t blame her. The teacher of 38 years thought about making it an even 40 years before ending her teaching career. “Then I decided to just retire and come home to bake bread and make soup,” she said. Smith makes her cheesy chicken soup when friends and family visit, and she gives it as a gift to friends recovering from illness to make them feel better. We hope it makes this chronic cookbook collector feel good to know that – since she shared her recipe and now we’re sharing it with you – we’re going to send her cookbook No. 200 for her collection.

Boil water with chicken bouillon cubes. Add onion and celery. Simmer 5 minutes. Add potatoes and vegetables. Cook 15 minutes. Before serving, add the soup and cheese; heat until melted. This soup is a family favorite and can be modified by using only broccoli and by adding diced ham or cooked chicken.


1 qt water                                                   
1 lb Velveeta cheese
1 onion, chopped                                           
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 pkg frozen California blend vegetables     
1 celery stalk
8 small potatoes                                              
2 10.5-oz cans cream of chicken soup

Serves 4


Hearty Hash Brown Soup

Georgene Duer, Lincoln 

Georgene Duer of Lincoln borrowed this potato soup recipe from her brother. Then she made it her own by making it easier to make. “I didn’t like the idea of peeling, cutting up and cooking the potatoes,” Duer said. “So I tried using hash browns when I began making this about 10 years ago. The result is simple, easy and so good.” The lifelong Nebraskan who grew up near Staplehurst said she makes chili once a year, but, “I make this easy potato soup anytime.”

Boil water, carrots, celery and onion until carrots are tender. Add hash browns and cook for 20 additional minutes. Add butter, parsley, salt, pepper, (basil and thyme if desired) and heat until Velveeta is melted. Add evaporated milk and heat until hot. Do not boil.


4 cups water
4 cups carrots, finely cut
2 cups celery, finely cut
2 cups onion, finely cut
30 oz frozen hash browns (thawed)
1/2 cup chopped Velveeta
6 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp parsley
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
30 oz evaporated milk
1 tsp each basil and thyme (optional)        

Serves 8-10


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