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Spring has sprung!

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Yes, the cold and the snow have been driven back into Canada, Siberia, Antarctica, and the other Icy Hells from whence they came for another year by our friends Mother Nature and Mr. Sun! The water is running, the air is warmer and the GPA's favorite time of year has returned; everything is Green again! In celebration of new life and in memory of those who fell in the frozen fields we like to hold a feast at this time of the year. We were putting this feast together when we had the happy thought of bringing this tradition to our neighbors of the other alliances and colors. Thus we would like to share some of our favorite recipes with all of you, and would like to know of your culinary traditions of the season. Does IRON in fact still use the traditional pans, or have they upgraded to the non-stick variety? Does the Brown Team still brown everything, or have they resorted to the microwave? Inquiring minds want to know! smilie


One of mine, for starters:


2 carrots,diced or sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, large or 2 onions, small, chopped
2-3 potatoes, medium, diced
2 quarts beef broth
1/3 or 1/2 a box of small shells, or other pasta (Yes Jeric, pasta DOES work with beef soup :P)
salt, to taste(1 tsp?)
pepper, to taste(1 tsp?)

This is a crock pot recipe; I simply love mine since I pretty much live on soups or stews and I have to work a lot so I don't have the time needed to cook properly most of the time. Being able to start it before I go to work and have it ready by the time I get back is wonderful, though someday I may come home to a burned house. smilie

It's also absurdly simple to throw it all together; when I first started using it on my own I was sort-of-frying the vegetables for a few minutes before putting them in the pot like the book said to, but that absolutely isn't necessary and adds extra fat to boot. All you need to do is throw everything in the pot, and set it on low for 4-6 hours, EXCEPT for the pasta. I cook that separately when the soup is done, or just before, and then toss it in as soon as it is done.

Some notes: Use LITTLE pastas if you can, they do swell up in soups, especially if you are going to save some for later. I often cook on my day off and then have meals ready for several days.Smile Also, you can pretty much add anything you want to this, it's a great base recipe. I often throw meatballs or sausage into it, chicken would probably work too. I'm constantly experimenting with this recipe. The original recipe I found in a book had turnips in it, and added hot sauce into the soup just before serving it. All kinds of veg can be added, so it is quite versatile.

Now, does anybody have a good salad recipe to go with this? Wink

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A nice Caesar salad would go fantastic with this. Or I would also think of artisan bread like baguette bread cut into pieces toasted with light Olive oil over it or bruchetta and light parmesan reggiano. 

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