Comfort Food: Homemade Soup For The Soul

Well, the kiddies are back to school, the leaves are starting to turn yellow, we are harvesting our garden, the air is cool at night and it is September the 1st. To me that feels like fall and time for homemade soup!Now, normally the thought of summer ending would make me sad, but not this year. It was one of those bad summers you just want to see it end. Plus it was so cold, we don’t even feel like we had summer. So bring on the fall! Embracing the season wholeheartedly and hoping for a long warm one! The first thing I am doing is checking my pantry. Here’s an Organizing Tip: Keep your soup-making ingredients together in your pantry. Also I am combing through my soup recipes.There was nothing like returning home from a long school-bus ride (one hour long) to the aroma of mom’s homemade soup simmering on the stove. It was so delicious, especially with all of the fresh vegetables from the garden. Or make a pot when you are having company coming. After sitting in a car all day, there is nothing more warming than a bowl of soup and biscuits. It truly is comfort food.But as I watch what is happening in the world situation economically, soup is also a great way to stretch your budget. You can make a nutritious meal for your family on pennies. Perhaps that is one reason why mom made soup, to feed her family of 9. But it felt as if we were eating like kings.One of my soup memories occurred at one of our family reunions in December. It was cold and we were making soup to serve as each member arrived. We heard the car pull up and shut the stove off to go out and greet my sister and family. Later we could smell something burning. Oh no! The soup!Rather than turn the stove off, we turned it on High! We were going to throw it out, but one visitor and friend refused to waste it and thought it possible to be salvaged. She tenaciously started adding spices and herbs, but it still tasted burnt. So she kept adding ingredients from the fridge, so much that the soup now stretched into 2 pots, and then 3. Finally she did it. She salvaged that soup, and it was the best ever!I was young and wished I paid more attention to what she did, and my mom isn’t alive to ask her, but I think her secret was to use potato, then throw the potato out. Plus, she transferred the soup to another pot and discarded the burnt part. I would love to try it out, but then I would have to burn a pot of soup….. Nah! So we will just have to go with my memory….Also, when we first moved to British Columbia, we decided to drive to Alaska, just to have seafood. We were in Haynes and there I had the best Seafood Chowder I had ever eaten. So I asked the waitress if they give out the recipe. She said she would ask the cook, and he said “sure.”I had to meet him the next day and he gave me a sheet of paper with the recipe which went something like this:”Cook and drain 50 pounds of potatoes, then in 2 pounds of butter cook 2 pounds of onions diced, 1 pound of celery……. and season to taste.” He could have just said no, it’s a secret! But that didn’t stop me. The challenge was on to see if I could repeat his recipe… and we did. I promise to share that with you, but I would like to take pictures for you. I promise I won’t forget.How about when you are sick? Nothing like a pot of homemade chicken soup. We cook up a pot with 12 whole garlic cloves. You can’t tell there is that much garlic, and you always feel better after a bowl.Don’t you just love Mulligatawny Soup with apples and curry? Or a favorite that Ken’s mother made was Corn Chowder with ham. My personal favorite is Turkey, I love turkey and can eat it all week, and then move into turkey soup with my fresh chopped dill, barley and cabbage. Have you ever made stew and then served it in hollowed out bread bowls? That is fun. I make a 2 pound loaf of French Bread in my bread machine, take out the dough and shape it into 3 balls, let rise and baked. Cut in half, scoop out the flesh and serve your stew inside the bowl.To get you into the mood of making soup, just cut up some onion and celery and start sautéing in a pan. You will see everyone come running wanting to know what smells so good. Then start adding veggies, broth and whatever is in your fridge. I love adding cabbage to soup, to me it is the secret ingredient to a great homemade soup. Or make Hamburger Soup, Split-Pea, Beer Stew, French Onion Soup or Fish Chowder. I love so many, it can be hard to decide which one to make.But I have a recipe you likely NEVER heard of before. This was Ken’s invention with growing up north and is the perfect solution to tough economic times. Don’t let the name make you turn your nose, his soup is excellent and he is widely known for this creation….. Wiener Soup. We could even call this Recession Soup! Ken basically throws in whatever is in the fridge, but never anything green. Here is the Recipe:Recession Soup1 1/2 cups Onion, diced
1 cup Cabbage, sliced thin
1 cup Carrots, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Celery – about 1.5 cups
5 cups Water, Beef or Chicken Stock
1 Large can of Tomatoes, diced
1 cup Yellow Beans
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
1 cup Corn
1 cup Potatoes (add when you add the pasta)
1 cup Macaroni (or Pasta of your choice)
And of course РWieners. Up to a dozen, I had 5 on hand.Instructions:In a large pot or Dutch Oven, saut̩ onions, celery, cabbage and garlic in Canola Oil. Add the rest of the ingredients up to Worcestershire Sauce and simmer until tender. Then add potatoes, pasta and corn and cook until almost done. Add cut up wieners and heat until they are puffed. Trust me Рthis soup is yummy, it has a bit of spiciness. When you sit down to eat, and there is a knock at the door, just add another cup of water. Enjoy!

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