Soup is simple, warm, soothing, and basically “comfort food” in liquid form! I love soup, particularly in the fall and winter. My first memories of soup are of the “canned” variety, primarily vegetable soup with alphabet letters, chicken noodle soup (when I had a cold) and cream of celery soup. Of course canned cream of mushroom soup was ever present in many casseroles over the years!
Soup can be the beginning of a meal with many courses or soup can be the main course, often teamed with a salad or sandwich or crisp crackers or crusty bread. Soup can be hot or cold as well as savory or sweet. Soup can be associated with a particular geographic area. Fish chowder and clam chowder represent the New England area of the USA, minestrone is associated with Italy, vichyssoise is associated with France (as is French Onion Soup), Yellow Pea Soup is representative of Canada and Gazpacho is associated with Spain.
Soup mixes are available from which many “dips” are made when mixed with sour cream and other ingredients. Onion soup mix adds great flavor to a pot roast in a slow cooker, too.
In my opinion the best soups of all are those made from scratch with fresh ingredients. In this post I’d like to share with you two soup recipes that for me are truly soothing comfort food. One is Multigrain Chicken Soup which tastes and is so healthy that this is the soup I want if I’m coming down with a cold. The second soup is my recipe for Janet’s Potato Soup which I concocted a few years ago.
Multigrain Chicken Soup has great flavor intensifiers such as garlic, parsley, thyme, ginger and marjoram. I used fresh lemon thyme in this soup recipe recently and it was so flavorful. Brown rice, lentils, barley and split peas add great nutrition to this soup as well.
- 1/2 cup raw brown rice
- 1/3 cup medium barley
- 1/3 cup red lentils
- 1/3 cup yellow split peas
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 12 cups water
- Put all ingredients into a large pot (or slow cooker) and bring to a boil.
- Cover the pot and turn the heat down to simmer.
- Cook for about one hour (on stove top) or if using slow cooker, cook for 5-8 hours on Low setting until all grains are tender.
- Check seasonings. If soup is thick, thin it by adding chicken broth or water.
- Each 11/2 cup serving contains approximately 236 calories, 22 grams protein, 3 grams fat and 30 grams carbohydrate.
- If using fresh herbs, use 2-3 times more than ground herbs.
When reheating leftover potato soup you may need to add a splash of milk to it as it thickens up in the refrigerator overnight.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- 6-8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (enough to make 4 cups)
- 1 carrot, finely shredded
- 2 (14-oz.) cans chicken broth (enough to cover the potatoes)
- 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Saute onion in melted butter in a large soup pot until onions have softened.
- Add potatoes and shredded carrot. Pour chicken broth over the vegetables.
- Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are soft.
- Take soup off the stove and using an immersion blender, blend the soup to the desired smoothness. (some like lumps, some don't!)
- Add evaporated milk to the soup and return pot to heat soup to serving temperature.
- Serve with desired toppings.
- Be very careful while blending the soup - it's hot! A regular blender may be used in place of an immersion blender. When using the regular blender, blend in small batches.
I’m so thankful that fall seems to have finally arrived, judging from the absence of 90-degree days and the presence of 50-degree mornings!
Fall is the time for apples and some apple recipes will be appearing here soon.
Remember to Savor the Flavor,