by Debra on October 11, 2011

Musical pairing – A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker

Mmmmm Mmmmm Good, Mmmmm Mmmmm Good, That’s what Campbell’s tastes like, Mmmmm Mmmmm Good! So now that this little catch-phrase will be rolling around in your head for the next 24 hours, let’s talk soup shall we?

As you might have guessed, there was plenty of canned soup in the cupboards at the little house on Ankeny street: chicken noodle, tomato, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, tomato rice, chicken and stars, cream of celery, bean with bacon (one of my dad’s favorites) and vegetable beef (one of my favorites). The cans were marked ‘condensed’ which meant that you opened the can, poured into a saucepan (although as a 10-year-old, I must admit that I really didn’t know what a ‘saucepan’ was) and filled the now empty can with equal parts water which was added to the soup . . . heat and eat with a toasted cheese sammie made with Roman Meal bread and individually wrapped cheese slices . . . pretty good lunch back in the day.

And canned soups weren’t just for making lunches; pull out a can of cream of chicken soup, mix with mayo or sour cream, spread on top of cut up chicken, layer with broccoli, breadcrumbs, cheese, into the oven and voila – an hour later you had Chicken Divan (at least that’s what we called it!) Toss a can of creamed soup into pork chops or pot roast and you had a pan sauce or gravy; add a can of tuna, some pimento or peas and you had creamed tuna on biscuits as well as a multitude of casseroles or other recipe you might find in a number of church cookbooks across America – home cooks loved canned soups!

I also remember my grandmother gathering all of her end-of-season vegetables from the garden and making vegetable soup that she canned in pint jars; not to waste anything she grew, those jars of broth and vegetables brought comfort during the cold winter months.

I’m not really sure when it dawned on me that I could actually make soup from scratch and I don’t even remember what soup I made; but now I make a pot of soup every week to tuck in the refrigerator. We usually have the first bowl for one of our weekly dinners and the rest is eaten for both our lunches. I’ve also found that on those days when I have the munchies, soup helps to take that edge off when all I’m thinking about is pie . . . which is often . . .

Most soup recipes start with a little olive oil or butter, onions and garlic, a splash of wine and/or broth . . . and then comes the magic . . . broccoli, tomato, minestrone, cabbage, split pea, bean, lentils . . . you get the picture . . . serve with a salad, a hunk of beautiful crusty bread or crackers and it’s nirvana . . . in my humble opinion, soup is food for the soul . . . put on some music, pour a glass of wine and dance in your underwear – I guarantee it’ll put a smile on your face.

What is your favorite soup?


You might also like:

Creamy Tomato Soup
Sweet Corn Soup from Running With Tweezers
Garlicky Tortellini Soup
Cream of Mushroom Soup from CreativCulinary
Vegetarian Coconut Thai Soup from Tastes Better With Friends
Garlic Comma Bread Soup with Rosemary and Egg from Sippity Sup