I am a Souper. I make soup. A lot of soup. There are so many great reasons to praise the glories of soup! A budget stretcher! An excellent use of left overs. A quick meal at the end of a long day! A complete meal in one bowl ( or two if you want the seconds)! A balm when one has a cold. A warm welcome after feeding the animals and hauling in firewood. A time stretcher. If the the soup is already made then all I have to do is heat it up thus providing more time to knit around the woodstove. Soup is the best in improvisational cooking. In my opinion there is nothing else that can beat soup in the winter.
One of the benefits of a well stocked pantry is there is always a soup in the cupboard. Keeping a supply of lentils, split peas, kidney beans, bean soup mix, rice and barley will give any soup a filling body. Most of the veggies that we put in our soup comes from our own garden or food preservation efforts. Potatoes, corn, carrots, spinach, winter squash, green beans, garlic and onion, cleriac, apple all add to the rainbow of veggies we should eat every day. Dried herbs from the garden; basil, thyme, oregano, marjaram, dill, sage, parsley, give the soup the flavor and zest. Nutritional yeast will add B vitamins and dulse flakes will give an extra boost of iron.
The key to a good soup begins with the stock. A good veggie stock can be made from carrot, celery, onion and apple, a bundle of herbs wrapped in cheese cloth and salt. Sally Fallon in the book Nourish Traditions recommends adding a little vinegar to meat stocks to help draw out the minerals from the soup cartilage and marrow.
Over the weekend Hubby was feeding the animals when he noticed that a couple of our roosters were sparing. We have been harvesting the chickens on a need to eat basis. So we harvested the 2 roosters. I portioned out the boneless breast and the four legs for the freezer.
I took what was left over and cooked it with carrots, onion and apple. I brought to a boil and simmered for an hour extracting evry little of goodness out of it all. This made a rich stock. Because it is easier to just skin the chickens in the butchering process there was little fat that needed to be skimmed off the top. I added the remainder of a jar of puree tomato and apple sauce. I put jar of carrots; water and all, that I preserved last summer. I quarter turn the carrots, while processing, cold pack and pressure can. Spinach from the freezer, corn from the freezer, peas from the freezer, a lot of garlic, the zest of a leftover half of lemon and its juice, mushrooms, potatoes and dill. I sauteed the spinach,dill mushrooms,garlic and onion together. Put the potatoes in and cook for a while. Then add the rest of the veggies.
I served this with some homemade oatmeal and molasses bread.
The next soup on the menu is a curried squash...yum yum.