And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran



Monday, September 24, 2007

Vegetable Soup

Soup is one of those foods that can take the worst day of the year and make it bearable. It is the ultimate comfort food. Even when you are at your sickest, doctors will allow you clear broths. That technically qualifies as soup, even if it isn't very GOOD soup.

My favorite is vegetable soup. I usually stick some kind of meat in it, but mostly it's about the veggies. Corn, potatoes, carrots, green beans, onions, lima beans, rutabagas, kohlrabi, cabbage, summer squash...it's all fair game.

The trick is to save all of the leftover broth and vegetables from other meals in the freezer until soup making time. I have even been known to put a little water in the bottom of the pan after frying steaks or something and scraping all that good stuff that gets stuck to the pan up. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but really it is very simple to do. If I make a roast in the crock pot, I take the juice and simmer it down before freezing, but most of the time I don't need to do anything except dump stuff into a bowl and freeze it.

I used to get fancy, and puree the leftover meat scraps (only the little bits) and veggies before freezing, but I have found that since soups are best when simmered for long periods of time usually any leftovers turn to mush and desintigrate anyway. Making soup this way, I almost never have to add water to my soups. I just throw my frozen "soup starter" into a big ol' pot (or the crock pot) with browned meat and all the veggies I can find, and let it bubble away for a few hours. The bits of veggie and meat that get mushy and fall apart help to thicken the broth and add a lot of flavor.

I don't always have to add lots of spices, either, because a lot of what I freeze is pre-seasoned from when I cooked it the first time. I don't suppose my soup is lower sodium because of this or anything. It just already has all that goodness right in it.

Anyway, I know ya all know how to make soup, but it has been on my mind all day so I thought I would share.

4 comments:

Lynne said...

As soon as the cool front moves in I'll be making potato leek soup. It's one of my favorites.

barefoot gardener said...

Ooohhh, sounds good! I have never actually had a leek, but they sound tasty.

Kati said...

Dang!!! You're making me hungry. You should check out my (middle) sister's blog. She loves soup too, and was just posting about it today. It's at www.platonicrelationship.com Click on "blog" and there you'll be. (Oh, and she's got a page of recipes with a few soup recipes on it as well.)

barefoot gardener said...

Kati-

oohhh, your sis is making ME hungry! She is way out of my league. I will shamelessly steal some ideas from her, though. Thanks for the tip.