Soup!

Davey isn’t a big fan, but I love soup.  I’m not exaggerating here.  I have a deep and abiding love for all kinds of soup, and I could eat it every day.  Twice a day!  Soup is comfort food, and it just makes everything better.

You know what else is great about soup?  It’s frugal!  It uses up the bones of the Sunday roast and the various vegetables wilting in the refrigerator or languishing in partial bags in the freezer.

Soup can be a thick, almost stew-like, chowder, or a thin, nourishing broth.  Lots of protein or lots of veggies.  And soup is almost always better for lunch the next the day, when the flavors have had a chance to mingle.

I’d love to give you a recipe, but no two soups of mine ever come out exactly the same.  The best soups are the product of a specific time and place, of whatever happens to be on hand when the soup is born.

But my favorite soups always start with chicken broth.

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You can make broth out of almost anything.  Just cover your leftover bits and pieces, bones and trimmings with water.  Season well with salt, and add some whole peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves, and, optionally, whatever herbs you were thinking of using in your final soup.  Add a quartered onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, and some celery and/or carrots, just broken up.  If you like, you can keep a container in your fridge for onion tops and carrot ends, and then on soup day, you won’t have to waste anything at all!  Bring it all to a boil and simmer till your bones are falling apart.

You can put whatever you want into soup, but all good things begin with onions, of course, and garlic, sauted in olive oil or butter.  If you happen to have a little leftover bacon, you can fry that up, too, for excellent flavor.  Add your strained broth, the meat you picked off the bones, and any other vegetables or beans you have available today.  Pasta or rice will make it more filling.  Simmer till veggies are done, and you’ve got soup!

I made one last night (pictured) with white wine, canned tomatoes, some leftover frozen spinach, mushrooms, navy beans, and canned artichoke hearts.  It was delicious, and I can’t wait to have it for lunch today.  I think the tartness of the artichokes is really going to shine!

Last week, our soup was flavored with bacon and heavy on the chicken, which I simmered in an already-made broth (I call that double-broth).  I added about a half gallon of milk to dilute the rich broth.  It was divine.

I will end my ode to soup with this reading recommedation by a kindred soup lover.

And don’t forget to enter the give-away for the Restore workshop beginning in Lent!

7 Comment

  1. I love, love, love soup. Faith is the only one of the rest of the family that enjoys soup. The others complain (seriously). A loaf of bread and a pot of soup is the best meal ever.

    PS I giggled that you diluted the rich broth with milk. Most people would say they enriched the broth with milk. 😉 Must be some good broth! Although I know that milk has got to be rich!

    1. We used to only eat soup when Davey was deployed or out in the field. Now that he’s home all the time, we just eat soup. 🙂 I usually scoop out enough “solids” for him that he doesn’t mind too much. And yes, it was very rich broth! Took a half gallon of milk to get it down to ordinary broth strength, so we had one great big pot of soup that night!

  2. I think it’s a guy thing mostly. I also love soup and I’m trying hard to make sure my son keeps loving soup by serving it regularly at lunch around here. Peter doesn’t like soup either, so serving it at lunch while he’s at work is perfect. Of course he’s usually at work (or commuting home) when we’re eating dinner too, so sometimes we have soup for first dinner too!

    1. Jonny is thirteen and he still loves soup. He eats more than his dad now, and dislikes meatless meals because they don’t seem to fill him up enough, but he still loves soup! He thinks his soup-hating dad is weird. 😉

  3. Guess what we had for dinner tonight? Soup! I love soup! Ours was in the crockpot since we now have an afternoon commitment twice a week for play practice.

  4. My husband is quite outspoken about his love for a good old pot of soup. I love soup, but he really really loves it. He encourages me to make one big pot on Monday, for him to take as work lunches all week, promising he will love it and wont’ get tired of it. I feel like a bad wife sending the same lunch all week, though, so I usually don’t. One or two days, yes, but not all five.

    Soup is just the best. You can make a delicious, nourishing lunch by dirtying just one pot, a knife, spoon and cutting board. I always struggled to feed babies soup…I’ve finally learned it works pretty well to let them drink pureed soups from a mug (once it’s cooled down) and for soups with solids in them, they sip the broth and eat the solids off a plate. My 16 month old twins love broth.

    Do you do beef bone broth? It’s my favorite but I am always struggling to find a dependable source of bones.

    Your chickens sound amazingly delicious. It’s making me miss the chickens I used to raise and butcher in my teens.

    1. I don’t make beef bone broth as often, as I have fewer beef bones, but we get the tails of our cows when we process them, and they make extremely good soup! In fact, I think I have a couple packages in the freezer….

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