The concept of soup has been around for thousands of years, pretty much ever since human beings made water tight pots that could be heated. In times of rationing and hardship, soup has been a way to eek out good ingredients, so there is plenty to go round – and to make the most of the nutrition in the food.
Soup can be made out of pretty much anything and is a way to use up leftovers or vegetables that are past their best. It is also an excellent way to use the glut of produce that sometimes occurs when it comes into season, such as apples, marrows and courgettes. Mix and match vegetables and seasoning so it doesn’t get boring,and experiment with putting different vegetables and seasoning together. If a soup is a bit thin it can be made more substantial with the addition of potato, lentils or rice. These can also be added to get more of a ‘main course’ soup.
Home made soup can be made from leftovers or from food that needs using up. Just get some stock, an onion and some herbs and spices and make your soup from what you have in your cupboards
If you don’t do a lot of home cooking, soup is a good way to get your confidence in experimenting with different flavours that you like, and learning the rule that – actually there are very few rules in cooking. Soup is marvellous as a great alternative to a sandwich for lunch.
If you are away from home, take it in your thermos or put it in a container to heat up in the microwave. There are of course numerous canned and packet soups that you can buy but it’s hard to beat home made soup – and of course you will know exactly what has gone into it! Overall homemade soup is more economical than canned soup which can have a tendency to have too much salt and sugar in too. Once you get into cooking soup – you may never find you can’t be tempted to buy tinned soup again!
My very favourite soup is Cauliflower Soup With Blue Cheese, I think, for its strong flavour and thick consistency but it is a close run thing. It is the Cauliflower and Apple Soup that is one of the more popular soup recipes on the website. Apples have been particularly abundant this year so apple recipes are sought out. I have just added another favourite for apples, which is Parsnip and Apple soup
A soup usually starts with an onion and some stock. After that it really is up to you what you put into it and how you season it. Take Sarah’s Green Tomato Soup – created to make use of green tomatoes, rather than ending up wasting them. Not only is the soup good, it is really delicious. Courgette and Green Pepper soup makes use of the seasonal vegetables and Tired Salad Soup solves the problem of what to do with wilting salad leaves. So use the recipes as a guide but add your own flourish. Don’t be put off from doing a recipe for lack of the exact ingredients.
Add Your Own Flourish
I tend to use a boullion vegetable stock made up with water for my stock but you can use any stock or bouillon. Marmite or soy sauce can add flavour and interest, as of course can chilli powder. I used a little wine in the French Onion Soup, but it can be made without. Tomato puree is anothe standby to add sweetness, flavour and colour.
Soup – Best Winter Warmer
I love soup after a chill Autumn walk or winter shopping trip. It is a good idea to make up more than you need as it is wonderful to have some ready, just to heat up when you need it. Soup usually tastes even better after a couple of days in an air tight container in the fridge, too.
Of course the best accompaniment to some delicious soup is some good crusty bread. There are many good bakeries, these days making excellent bread but developing your soup making may encourage to have a go at making your own bread. thne you can have your soup with bread straight out of the oven. It is just a little bit of culinary heaven!