Tuesday, August 9, 2011

#54 of 100 Simple Suggestions... Make soup from scratch

I used to be a canned/boxed soup girl. There's no shame in that -- like a lot of other people my age whose parents both worked, I was pretty much raised with Campbell's and Lipton, and honestly didn't even know what I was missing, except for the times that we went to family reunions and I couldn't get enough of my aunties' garden soups, or Grandma's homemade chicken noodle.

I never even gave thought to making my own soup from scratch until one day when my college cafeteria served an amazing, creamy, spinach and carrot soup. It was so good that I walked into the cafeteria kitchen and asked Lalita, the cook, for the recipe. She was happy to share, so armed with my first really good soup recipe, I began my soup career, which really took off when I started my own vegetable garden.

Since then, I've found and developed many favourite recipes, or had them handed to me by friends -- or my girls. Shrimp and hotroot soup from eldest daughter's library find, a Redwall cookbook. Stone soup (middle daughter found the stone, and the story, and we did as it said, pretty much, guessing at amounts). Pumpkin and cardamom cream bisque (from the Blue Flame Kitchen lady on the radio). Slow cooker cabbage roll soup. And on it goes. As a result, boxed and canned soups have pretty much vanished from our pantry. Instead, in the fall, as the garden comes in, you can find me at the stove stirring our garden herbs and produce into all sorts of delectable minestrones, chowders and borschts.

Cathy's Best Beet Borscht

Campbells and Lipton have nothing on the flavours that come from our garden! And I'll say it again -- there's nothing like a fifty foot diet (how far do canned soups travel? and how long have they been stuck in that can losing food value?) I also love the fact that there's nothing unpronounceable in my soups (my husband, too. He's got an MSG allergy, which is reason enough to make almost everything from scratch.) It's also kind of fun to ignore the packaged food aisles at the grocery store, to thumb my nose at the highly processed "food-like substances" offered there. I tend to cook up big batches of soups and freeze them (we bought a 21 cu ft freezer, and I could probably use another), so there are no preservatives involved, and they can be "fast food" on busy days. My kids appreciate soups too, because they're hearty and often served for supper with fresh homemade bread or biscuits -- a full meal deal.

Just recently, two friends offered me favourite soup recipes, and now I'm gathering ingredients for days when garden vegetables are plentiful, the girls have gone back to school, and heavenly aromas fill my kitchen the way they did my grandma's. I feel a cosmic connection to her at times like that. Making soup from scratch is a simple and satisfying activity, good for body and soul.

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.
    Kitchen Garden


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