Autumn Menu

As the leaves turn and fall from the trees, it's hard not to want a dinner of warm soup and a toasty sandwich, followed by the season's finest sweet potato pie. So this month, we bring you a special fall menu ... no other plans or techniques or hidden agendas. Just great food for a great season to enjoy without spending the day in the kitchen. Enjoy!

Quick Tomato-Rice Soup

  • 1 (10 1/3-ounces) can condensed tomato soup
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • Few drops bottled hot pepper sauce

Combine the soup, broth, rice, celery, and pepper sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat

Cover; simmer for 8-10 minutes or till rice is tender.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Vegetarian Bacon Cheesewiches

  • 6 slices vegetarian bacon ( Morningstar Farms)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated process American cheese
  • 1 tablespoon instant minced onion
  • 1/4 cup catsup
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 6 hamburger buns, split

Cook the bacon until crisp. Crumble the bacon and combine with the remaining ingredients except the buns. Spread 3 tablespoons of the bacon mixture on the bottom half of each bun and cover with the top. Wrap each sandwich in a paper towel. Microwave 2 at a time on 805 power for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until heated through.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Sweet Potato Pie

Pastry Crust Mix:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • Ice water
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes -- mashed
  • 2/3 granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter -- melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 eggs -- beaten
  • 1 cup light cream

For the crust, preheat the oven to 450 F. Mix the dry ingredients together. Blend in the shortening with knives or a pastry blender until the mixture is of pebbly consistency. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. When needed, measure out these amounts:

  • 8-inch pie: 1 to 1 3/4 cups
  • 9-inch pie: 1 1/2 cups
  • 10-inch pie: 1 3/4 cups

Moisten the pastry mix with enough ice water to hold the dough together when pushed lightly with a folk. Roll out on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth. Line the pan and prick the shell on the bottom and sides with a folk. Bake 10 minutes, remove from the oven, and lower the heat to 375 F.

For the filling, mix the sweet potatoes and sugar. Add the butter, nutmeg, mace, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice; mix well. Gradually add the eggs and cream; mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into the partially baked pie shell. Bake the pie at 375 F for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour