Monday, January 4, 2010

What Gobles Gobble...Whats in Dea's Soup...

Have I ever spent time extolling the virtues of soup? Soup in almost every form is one of my most favorite things to eat. Its warm its hearty it evokes memories its always different its always satisfying. Soup is one of the most versatile foods ever. Every culture in the world has some kind of soup. Americans eat soup, a can of chicken noodle soup might as well be right next to NyQuil at the drug store. Chinese soups like won ton and hot and sour are in my top favorites! When I have a head cold Hot and Sour soup always does the trick. Then we have some of the more exotic soups... Pho oh my dear sweet savory Pho from Vietnam. I'm sad I haven't really craved you since I've been pregnant but I still love you so much! Not to mention Japanese Ramen or Basque cabbage soup like my grandma used to make! I don't know if this post will be a real recipe so much as a formula... I make homemade soup quite often! I always make it in my giant crock pot ( 7.5 quarts of soupy goodness) and I always freeze what we don't eat which also makes for 2-3 soup dinners which are as simple as plop frozen cube o soup in pot and bring to a boil serve with some type of bread or toasted sandwich and dinner is served!

My soup formula: (for Broth based soups)
1-2 quarts of stock, ( Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable stock, even V8)
2 small onions, chopped
4-5 stalks of celery chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
Garlic 4-6 cloves chopped
salt and pepper to taste (depending on other factors)
You can add water if you need it brothier. The stock is a flavor base to get you started you're going to add additional flavors as well!

Bean soup:
Add 1 can chopped tomatoes, 1 bag 15 bean soup mix, ham hock or chopped ham.

Vegetable soup:
Add any and all manner of vegetables! Seriously as many as you want as much as you want! I always use stock and V8 in veg soup! Chopped cabbage, all those greens we're supposed to eat, green beans, potatoes, you can even put grains and beans in it like barley and lentils! The freezer and bulk food section of the grocery store can be helpful here and/or you can practice your knife skills! :) for Minestrone add Italian herbs, pasta and don't forget to top with Parmesan cheese! (Someday I'm gonna buy a parmesan cheese rind at whole foods to cook in the pot with my soup!!)

Beef soup:
Use leftover bits of a beef roast or steak, chopped into small pieces. Add 1 can chopped tomatoes and any veggies you like! I especially like Barley in Beef soup it reminds me of my Grandma!

Chicken soup:
I keep pretty traditional! Follow the formula put bone in chicken pieces in the pot and allow it all to cook together. Pull the chicken off the bone once cooked! Add a small pinch of curry powder and some parsley. Decide if you're gonna add rice, pasta or dumplings :) I add rice or pasta 1-2 hours before the soup is finished with dumplings I wait til about 30 min before the soups done.

I always cook soup low and slow for several hours!(Crock pot on lowest setting over night is my preferred method) Soup is always at its best when its homemade! You know whats in it you can control the ingredients the flavor! I haven't made a bad pot yet! Its winter its cold what could be better than a warm bowl of soup! :)

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