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.
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!