Finally it is getting cool, and I am looking forward to stew and soup season. Great thing about soups and stews are that they can be made in the slow cooker at any time during the day and they just get better and better tasting as the day goes on. You don’t need crackers with at good soup or stew. You can use rice (brown) or potatoes for flavoring and to thicken the broth. Just enough to do the trick, but not enough to load the meal up with cheap carbs.
One of our favorites is Ham and Hominy Chowder. Here is the recipe, and the only modification is that sometimes we will use two cans of hominy–one white, one golden.
If you have stock from a smoked ham bone, use it. Oh Man!
I love soups that use my turkey stock too. I will always boil the carcass of a smoked turkey or the bone from a holiday ham with onion, celery and carrots. No salt in the stock, I will add salt when cooking with the stock. If you are doing it right your stock will turn into meat jelly when you cool it down. To store it long term I put it in old fashioned ice cube trays and freeze it. One tray will fill a quart size freezer bag with two ounce cubes of deliciousness. Makes it easy to measure. Need a cup of stock for your recipe? That would be four cubes of stock.
Chili has to be cooked in the pressure cooker at my house. When I saw Alton Brown make this chili years ago on Good Eats I bought a pressure cooker. Here is his recipe. If you really want to know how to do it, find the video of his TV show and watch that. Then watch all of the other Good Eats videos you can get your hands on. Knowing how to cook is half the battle of controlling what you eat. Cooking well will serve you well.