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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Enjoy Chinese soup without the carton

Thursday, December 16, 1999

Tested by Betsy Kline

We should all be so resourceful. When Carole Ann Brahler of Allentown gets hungry for Chinese soup, she turns not to the Yellow Pages for take-out, but to her pantry for inspiration.

That's how Delightful Shrimp Soup was born. One evening the homemaker was hungry for soup with an Oriental flavor. She reached into her cupboards for chicken broth as a base; she happened to have some salad shrimp in the freezer and the rest just sort of fell into place.

But then Brahler is good with putting things together: She's an artist and craftsperson who keeps busy with painting, woodcrafting, needlework, sewing and gardening in season.

Her husband, Tom, is the happy recipient of her inventiveness. "He only likes my cooking -- he's never pleased unless it's mine," she says. And a glowing endorsement it is.

Carole Ann does most of her cooking from scratch, but knows how to marry convenience ingredients into a tasteful union. She promises to send us her one-dish chicken pot pie recipe soon.

She clips recipes from magazines and newspapers and will be able to add a cookbook to her resources as a reward for sharing this delightful recipe.

We enjoyed this delicate and beautiful soup with a loaf of bread and wouldn't hesitate to serve it to company. It came together in less than 20 minutes.

Delightful Shrimp Soup

2 (14- to 15-ounce) cans chicken broth, may use low salt
2 (4-ounce) packages frozen salad shrimp
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chest nuts, drained
2 green onions, including tops, chopped
1 (4-ounce) can or jar mushrooms, drained

Place shrimp in colander to thaw under cold running water.

Put chicken broth, water chestnuts, green onion and mushrooms into medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer, then add shrimp, simmering for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and serve. About 2 to 3 servings.

Do you have an entrée, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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