Savory Shepherd’s Pie

One of my children has a thing for Shepherd’s Pie. I blame the sabbatical in England. The ones there and indeed the shepherd’s pies I make, bear little resemblance to this one…part of a jiffy meal as you can see. Not sure how they imagine you season the mashed potatoes. Also I am not sure about the wisdom of using a can of vegetable soup for the veggie portion. I generally use frozen mixed vegetables and soy crumbles instead of the ground beef. I do have to say it is an easy and thrifty meal made this way though. Of course that is unless green peppers in your neck of the woods are as outrageously priced as they are here! Ugh. Not only high priced but not worth buying. Darn weather ruining my non-local produce!

Savory Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed vegetable soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash thyme (if desired)
Seasoned mashed potatoes

Brown beef and cook onion and green pepper until tender; stir in soup, salt and thyme. Spoon into 1-qt casserole. Place potatoes in mounds around edge of casserole. Bake at 425 F for 15 min. 4 servings.

(From Easy Ways to Delicious Meals, 1968)

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Circus Soup

One of my children wants to run away and join the circus when she grows up. Literally. She takes circus art classes where your more traditional child takes dance or plays on a soccer team.

Circus Soup should appeal right? It is as “colorful as a carnival.” You top it with POPCORN! Circus girl loves popcorn despite her braces.

Hmmm nothing incredibly horrid about it except for the sodium I suppose. Nothing particularly redeeming either. Well, nothing redeeming except the fact that it DOES use up that 1/2 cup of lima beans from the night before and two strips of leftover bacon. (and of course, popcorn)

Circus Soup

1 can condensed turkey vegetable soup (is this even still available?)
1 soup can water
1/2 cup cooked lima beans
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine soup, water and beans. Heat; stir now and then. Top each serving with bacon. Garnish with popcorn. 2-3 servings.

From Campbell’s Easy Ways to Delicious Meals, 1968

Creamy Peanut Butter Soup

Woe betide the child of 1968 who had a mother fall prey to the Campbell’s Easy Ways to Delicious Meals. The suggested menu of open faced sandwiches, cupcakes, and milk doesn’t sound too bad. However, the creamy peanut butter soup strikes me as a bit horrific. On the other hand the more I think about it, the more I think about heading into the kitchen to give it a try.

What do you think?

Creamy Peanut Butter Soup

1 can condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 soup cans milk

Stir soup into peanut butter, a little at a time, until well blended; add milk. Heat, but do not boil. Stir occasionally. 3 to 4 servings.

Tomato Overload Gazpacho

I have a strange gazpacho tale to tell.  In sixth grade, I came down with German Measles. What originally was diagnosed as fever of unknown origin landed me in the hospital and resulted in a large number of doctors–particularly young ones who had never seen a case of German Measles in person. During this hospital stay, my parents went out to lunch and had gazpacho, something I hadn’t even heard of until that point.

While they were gone, a doctor came to examine me, he gave me the creeps AND he wasn’t willing to wait for my parents to get back. They came back part way through the exam smelling of garlic and all sorts of mysterious stomach turning foods. After the doctor left I asked about that horrid smell and vowed never to eat gazpacho. I didn’t.

Then came the vitamix and its recipe book full of great stuff. Gazpacho was one such recipe. Wait! I love all the things in Gazpacho. Maybe I should give it a try. I did and I fell in love.

The ramble today is because I have a lot of tomatoes in the house this week. The best ones at the best price in the market came in 12 pound baskets. In order for that to really be the best price–I need to actually USE the tomatoes. Tomatoes have gone in dinner, in salsa, in sandwiches, in snacks all week. There are a lot of tomatoes though. So today, I will be making gazpacho for lunch. Alas I have no Vitamix anymore. (SNIFF! I miss my Vitamix) Fortunately one really isn’t required.

Tomato Overload Gazpacho

(or Blender Gazpacho for adults who like cold soups and easy meals)

4 large tomatoes, roughly chunked
1/2 to 1 medium yellow onion, chunked
1 cucumber, peeled and diced (though I have been known to leave the peel on if it is a fresh pickling cucumber)
1 jalapeno or a good shot of Tabasco or rooster sauce (about a teaspoon)
1 heaping tablespoon chopped jar garlic or about four cloves chopped
2 T lemon or lime juice
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 cup tomato juice, tomato sauce, water or other liquid
1 cup ice cubes

Put the liquids in the blender first. Add other ingredients. Blend 3-60 seconds depending on the power of your blender. Look for about a smoothie thickness.

Tweak the spice, garlic, and lemon juice/vinegar based on your taste and the produce you are using.