A tasty break from sports 25 Jan 13
Hey there sports fans, Joel back here.  But no sports for the blog today.  What you ask?  isn’t this a sports blog?  Well yes it is…but even us sports guys need to eat.  And this sports guy tasted some pretty good soups recently in the stations Souper Bowl of Soups and Super Side Dish Contest that I hosted on my Afernoon Smorgasbord program.  So I wanted to take a break from sports and bring you the winning recipes from the contest.  Enjoy!  and I do mean enjoy!  
Finalist: Christine Schlueter, Hutchinson “Caramelized Onion, Gruyere, and Bacon Spread”
4 slices of bacon
3 1/2 cups sliced onion
2 1/2 oz Gruyere Cheese, shredded and divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
1/3 cup Mayonaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
baguette slices or chips or veggies for serving
Preheat Oven  to 425 F.  Spray   1 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Set a large skillet over medium heat,  Add the bacon and cook til crisp.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease.  Set the pan back over medium heat, and add the onions.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the onions are a rich caramel color and have cooked down considerably.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Crumble the bacon, reserve a small amount for garnish.  In a medium bowl, stir together the rest of the bacon, the onions, 2 oz of the cheese, 1 tablespoon of the chives, the mayo, sour cream, salt and pepper.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.  Top with the remaining 1/2 oz of cheese, bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is browned and the spread bubbling around the edges.  Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of chives and the reserved bacon.  Serve with your baquette slices, veggies, or chips.
Finalist:  Genny Lhotka, Silver Lake “Beer Cheese Soup”
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
16 oz cheese whiz or velveeta
1 can beer
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chives or onion, chopped fine
1 bag puff popcorn or croutons
In heavy kettle, melt butter, mix in flour.  Add chicken broth, and the half and half until smooth and thick.  Add Cheese and stir until melted and mixture is smooth.  Add beer, worcestershire sauce, and chives or onions.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.  Serve hot with puffcorn or croutons on top. 
Finalist: Mary Ann Mallak, Silver Lake “Vegetable and Sausage Soup”
1 lb kielbasa or other smoked sausage, sliced
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups sliced carrots
3 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups shredded cabbage
5 cups water
1/2 tsp leaf thyme
1 bay leaf
1 T. salt
1 clove garlic
1 can tomatoes
Combine all the ingredients but the sausage in a kettle.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Add sausage and simmer another 15 minutes.  Enjoy!