Today is wintry;
cold and dreary,
too bad, so sad.
the awakening of glad.
I smell nutritious,
I smell delicious.
A Bit of History
Man has been brewing up a soup of some sort for over 20,000 years. Indeed, our ancestors conjured up ways to hold watery soups with such leaky vessels as animal hides and reeds held over hot rocks, but until the invention of waterproof vessels starting with perhaps clay pots, this practice was rarely used.
The word soup was coined from the French word soupe derived from the latin suppa (bread soaked in broth) and the Germanic word sop (bread used to soak up soup or thick stew). The word restaurant (restoring) was first used in France in the 16th century to refer to concentrated, inexpensive concoctions of soup hocked on the streets of France as an antidote for physical exhaustion. Running with this idea in 1765, a Parisian businessman opened a store specializing in this “anecdotal” soup and was credited with the new genre for restaurant as an eating establishment.¹
Soup is generally made by combining vegetables and meats or fish with a particular stock puree, water or cultural food base. There are clear soups bouillon or consummé and thick soups made with thickeners: purees are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from pureed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream, and cream soups may also be thickened with a Bechamel or white sauce.¹
Every family no matter the country, has their own version of soup. It is primarily a liquid food that can be served both hot and cold. It’s purpose is to fill and warm or fill and satisfy hunger with a nutritional and economical purpose in mind.
Italian Medley Soup
I created this pièce de resistance from a love for anything Italian. Most good Italian soups have the same traditional ingredients, but I’ve thrown in a few non-traditional vegetables for added flavor. It is important that the broth for the soup be made from boiling the carcass only of a broiled chicken. This will cut down the amount of fat and calories in the preparation.
8 c water (more or less)
1 can Swanson’s chicken broth
1 16 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 can cannelloni beans (white beans)
1 medium chicken carcass
2 C broiled chicken leftovers cut into bite size pieces
2 large potatoes peeled and cubed
1 c sliced brown mushrooms
2 c baby spinach
1 c sliced carrots
1 c sliced celery
1/2 c chopped onions
1/2 small clove chopped garlic
2 t basil
2 t cilantro
1 T (dried) parsley
garlic salt and pepper for taste
After gently boiling the chicken carcass with water and broth in large soup pot for about 2 hours, remove carcas and strain remaining broth. Add the rest of ingredients. Simmer for another 2 hours or until vegetables are cooked and spices infused and fragrant. Pair with warm, crusty sourdough bread and glass of your favorite red wine. Serves 6 or more.
*Listen to romantic Italian music for added inspiration while preparing your masterpiece. I prefer Andrea Bocelli’s beautiful voice for mine.