Tips to soup up that bowl of soup

DEAR READERS: In cold winter weather, a bowl of soup and a sandwich make a terrific lunch or hearty dinner, depending on the soup. Here are some quick hints to make your soup really soup-alicious:

• Use a quart of water for every pound of chicken for chicken soup.

• Give soup a sweeter taste and make it more nutritious by adding pureed carrots.

• Thicken soup by adding instant mashed potatoes.

• Remove fat by dropping a couple of ice cubes into the pot. The fat will stick to them -- just remove.


• When preparing veggie soup, put in enough water to cover the vegetables by 2 inches or more.

• Finally, taste the soup when done to check the seasoning. Some herbs may lose their flavor or aroma, while others get stronger..

— Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: I make salads almost every day when trying to lose weight. To keep lettuce fresh, tear apart the head, rinse the leaves and spin. Then, with a clean kitchen towel laid on the counter, dry the leaves with paper towels. Store the leaves in large margarine tubs. Fold a paper towel and put it on the bottom of each tub, fill with lettuce, put another paper towel on top and close. This keeps the lettuce fresh and easy to use when I want some for my salad. — Ronny H., via e-mail

DEAR HELOISE: I buy bulk packs of ground beef and divide them into 1-pound sections for freezing. Instead of freezing as thick mounds, I put each pound into a quart-size plastic freezer bag and press as flat as the bag will allow. This removes extra air and makes the package about 1 inch thick, which cuts thawing time. — Paulette A., Bloomfield, N.Y.

DEAR HELOISE: Chopping nuts? Put them in a plastic sandwich bag, press out the air, seal it, put the bag on the cutting board and pound it with a hammer. They don't fly all over the place, and there is nothing to clean up afterward. — Margaret Schumacher, via e-mail

DEAR HELOISE: The suggestion was made in your column to use disposable surgical gloves to mix salads, meatloaf, crab cakes, etc. Please warn your readers to check if the gloves are latex-free. If the foods are prepared and eaten by someone who has a latex allergy, a serious medical emergency could arise. -- Pat, via e-mail

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