Reader shares best soup recipes.

It’s time for soup.

Dotti Milner of Springfield, Ill. shares several of her favorite soup recipes.

U.S. Senate Bean Soup
Makes 8 to 10 servings (2 1/2 quarts).

1 pound dried Great Northern beans
1 meaty ham bone, or 2 smoked ham hocks
3 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery ribs, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup mashed potatoes or 1/3 cup mashed potato flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley or chives for garnish

In saucepan, place beans and enough water to cover; bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and soak 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.

In large kettle, place beans, ham bone and 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 2 hours. Skim fat, if necessary. Add onions, garlic, celery, parsley, potatoes, salt and pepper; simmer 1 hour longer.

Remove meat and bones from soup. Remove meat from bones; dice and return to kettle. Heat through. Garnish with parsley or chives.


Broccoli Soup
Makes 4 servings.

4 cups chicken broth
2 to 2 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 t olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t pepper
1 cup half-and-half

In large saucepan, bring broth to a boil; add broccoli. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, saute onions in oil until tender; stir into broth. Remove from heat; cool 10 to 15 minutes. Puree in small batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return all to the saucepan; set aside.

In bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Slowly add half-and-half, stirring constantly. Gradually stir into broccoli mixture. Return to the heat; cook over medium heat until heated through; stirring occasionally.

--What is your favorite appetizer or hor d’oeuvre? If you have a good recipe, please send it in.

The Trading Post is a recipe-exchange column that runs every other week and is compiled by Kathryn Rem. Send recipes and recipe requests to the Trading Post, The State Journal-Register, P.O. Box 219, Springfield, IL 62705; fax to 788-1551; or email Please include your name, city and daytime phone number.