Heartwings says, “Homemade soup warms the heart and the tummy too.”
Growing up, I was accustomed for the most part to think of soup as something that came in cans. Certainly, I didn’t know anything about making it from scratch—not at least for some years as I taught myself to cook. I remember once making a cream of mushroom soup and thinking, what a waste of time, it tastes just like it came from a can.
Chicken soup made from the bones to begin with was one of my first efforts. I must have seen my mother doing it because she was never one to waste anything that could be made into food. She was a very thrifty cook. As time went by, and I was feeding more people, both family and later, friends, I began out of necessity to learn the art of soup making.
At one time, and especially when I had a garden I fed the scraps to, I even saved my vegetable peelings and tops and boiled them into a tasty broth I used to enhance my homemade soups. This was especially good with vegetable and bean or lentil soup. For some reason I don’t think my mother did much with lentils or beans. Perhaps my father didn’t like them. It was Stephen that got me into lentil soup, something he had enjoyed long before we met. Another of his favorites is onion soup.
After researching a variety of recipes, I crafted my own very simple onion soup. I use 1 ½ to 2 cups thinly sliced onion sauteed slowly in 2 tablespoons butter and 2 of olive oil. When onions are soft and ready, I add 1 quart box low sodium beef broth, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 or so minutes. Serve either plain or with some toasted bread with melted cheese on top. This serves 3 or 4 nicely.
My potato soup is equally simple: I use ½ a large onion, chopped sauteed in 2 tablespoons butter and 2 of olive oil. Peel or don’t 4 medium Maine potatoes, chop and add to onion along with 3 cups water or broth and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook an hour or so. Serve or store for next day when it is even better. Chopped fresh parsley, though not necessary, will also enhance the taste.
And finally, here is a favorite of mine, using mung beans. Sprouted they are the ubiquitous bean sprouts of oriental foods. In their dried state they are tasty and nutritious. I use ½ cup chopped onion, 1 cup mung beans, 2 cups chopped potato, 1 cup or more sliced carrots, 1 cup or more chopped celery, 1 teaspoon thyme, ¾ teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon ground garlic, 2 cups beef broth and 4 cups water salt and pepper to taste. Sauté onion and add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer until tender and tasty—45 minutes to an hour.
May your meals be tasty and nutritious regardless what you prepare.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert
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