Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why I love to make soup

Whenever I'm in doubt as to what to make for dinner, the answer is usually soup. Do you wonder why?

Image: oil painting of soup pot and vegetables, by Pat Meier-Johnson. 

It's easy. All you have to do is chop up some vegetables and throw them into a pot - carrots, potatoes, onions, zucchini, whatever you have. I usually add a cup of red lentils for thick soup, or quinoa, or some pearl barley and the bony parts of a chicken (wings, back, neck).

It's economical. You get to use up all sorts of odds and ends you wouldn't know what to do with otherwise - a squishy tomato, the stem of a cauliflower, a slightly wilted sprig of celery, or, as I already mentioned, the bony parts of a chicken - and make a whole meal out of it. And usually you also get plenty of leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. 

It's efficient. Once you throw everything into the pot, you put it on the stove and let it simmer, stirring occasionally - and that's it. Minimal work, great outcome.

It's versatile. You don't need to follow any recipe. For me, soup is always some veggies, hardly matters which, and something to make it thicker - lentils, oats, barley, quinoa, rice, noodles or couscous. 

It makes for a cozy home. Soup cooking on the stove in winter makes the kitchen warmer and sends a delicious smell all over the house. 

It's healthful. Homemade soup is one of the most digestible foods there is. It's great at a time of the flu (especially chicken soup), upset stomachs, upset spirits or upset minds. 

So pull out a nice big pot and cook some healthy, delicious soup for all the family. 


Joyce Ackley said...

I love making soup! I don't put any meat in mine and I usually use packaged vegetable broth. I use fresh and frozen vegetables in my soup, and season it up with herbs and spices. I freeze some and have plenty of leftover soup. A couple of days ago, I made Three Bean Vegetarian Chili. Got the recipe off Pampered Chef website. I ended up adding more seasoning spices than the recipe called for.
I am planning to make some corn chowder and some potato soup when I find simple recipes I like.

Keary said...

I made homemade chicken noodle soup for the first time last week, and I was shocked at how much more delicious it was than the canned variety! I was expecting it to be better than the canned of course, but this wasn't even in the same neighborhood! Needless to say, I am never going back to the can again.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Joyce, if packaged vegetable broth is what I think it is, I wouldn't recommend using it as it contains MSG or hydrolyzed protein and a lot of other unhealthy additives. It's a lot better to invest in making your own meat- or fish-based broth (though it does take time), or simply add more spices and flavorful herbs if you don't want your soup to be on a meat or fish basis.

Keary, I had no idea there's even such a thing as canned chicken noodle soup. Just goes to show people here in Israel are still into home cooking, compared to other places in the world.

Lady Anne said...

Believe me, Anna, if you didn't know canned chicken noodle soup existed, you're not missing a THING!

We love homemade soup, from fresh tomato soup in the summer to cauliflower and Stilton in the winter. Corn and potato chowder, fresh (frozen) pea soup with butter dumplings. Do you have butternut squash in Israel? It makes a fantastic soup. I use Temla chicken flavoured bouillon cubes, as we don't eat meat, and I've honestly never found a vegetable stock I like.

Add a loaf of homemade bread and you're good to go.