The other day on Writers Plot, my friend Kate Flora waxed poetically about how the onset of falls makes her yearn for hot breads and muffins. It must be that snap in the air that arrived rather suddenly this week that makes us want to ditch the picnic food (well, I could eat a little more potato salad) and start cooking up cold-weather comfort food.
It wasn't so long ago that when I went to a diner, I almost always ordered the soup. I'm especially fond of vegetable soup and New England clam chowder. But it seemed to me that more than soup I was getting brine. Way WAY too much salt in the soup. So I've had to give up ordering the soup. (Except for Chinese hot and sour soup--so far that seems to have escaped excessive sodium, and how long will that last?)
Canned soups have always been too salty for me. Lately I've taken to buying the reduced sodium versions. Why is it if they leave out the salt the store feels they need to charge twice as much for the product? And, unfortunately, too often if they skimp on the salt, they double up the high-fructose corn syrup. I don't want sweet soup.
So, more often than not, I make my own soup. I'm sure it costs triple what a can of soup costs, but it tastes great, it fills the house with a wonderful aroma, and it's good for me.
I like to make chicken soup (I prefer turkey soup, but we only cook a bird once a year--not my choice, mind you, I could eat it year round. Too bad others in the family don't feel the same). We buy roasted chicken from the local grocery store, which gives us four meals and then soup. Okay, only two servings of soup, but that makes a fine lunch.
I don't have a recipe. I boil the chicken bones for an hour or so, strain off the broth, toss the bones, throw in an onion, celery, and some frozen mixed vegetables, and in 20 minute--voila! Lunch. For seasoning, I toss in some ground pepper and maybe one or two shakes of salt, but nothing like what comes in processed soups. I'll break out the bread and butter or saltines (which aren't very salty these days--must have used all that salt in the processed soup), and what a great meal.
Okay, I'm off to the kitchen. I've got that chicken carcass to pick and soup on the menu.
Want to share your favorite soup recipe?