Monday, March 07, 2011

Learning to Love Soups

As family grows and food prices rise, I'm learning to love soups as a healthful, economical and tasteful meal for my family.

Growing up, soups were either from a can or were tasteless, anemic broths with little substance. Hence, I developed a dislike for soups and avoided making them. I've always liked hearty stews and chowders, though, so I've made those. Lately, though, I've been dabbling more and more in making soups and they're not as bad as I used to think!

I've learned to start with a good, hearty stock. Growing up during the "fat free" craze of the 90's, I remember my dear mother boiling boneless, skinless chicken breasts and lamenting at the lack of flavor and color in the broth. Now, we have Nourishing Traditions smarts and we know to use skin, bones, meat, feet, hocks and gizzards to create a hearty, extremely healthy stock.

I've also learned to use herbs. I love herbs. I have an herb garden. I have an entire shelf in a kitchen cabinet dedicated to herbs. Herbs add to the flavor and health of the stock.

I've also learned to use more stock than water. Don't water down a stock any more than you absolutely need to.

I've also learned to use other additions such as balsamic vinegar, cooking wines or tomato products.

Tonight, I'm making a beef barley vegetable soup.

What's your favorite soup? Could you share the recipe with me?


Upstatemamma said...

Tonight we are having chicken and rice veggie soup. I made chicken in my crockpot last week by putting chicken broth, cut up carrots, celery and onions and cooking all day. I threw the leftover rice and chicken in with the broth and veggies (we had different veggies for dinner that night) and tonight we have soup. :)

The Kitchen Witch said...

My favorite for winter is one I make after we have Corned Beef and Cabbage. I always get two large cabbages so there is enough for my second meal. (We really like cabbage) Then I use all the fresh and frozen vegetables I already have in the house. The Corned Beef is really salty but when you boil it in a stock pot there is enough water to dissolve a lot of the salt and when you add all the other vegetables you end up with a really hearty soup that heats up your bones.

Christy said...

I love vegetable beef soup - which can be any leftover beef, with broth, tomatoes, veggies and noodles - YUM!