soup solves everything

home tome soupHas life got you down? Has the impending gloom of winter taken the “spring” out of your step? I would like to hereby suggest that you have some soup.

Did the Dow Jones just plummet and with it, all your hopes and dreams for the future? (Namely, retiring by the age of 121?) Here’s what you do: warm up some soup. Sit down. Slurp it loudly and with a great deal of verve. You are guaranteed to feel better.

Have you, by any chance, been fighting a losing battle with bronchitis for exactly four weeks? Do you have the coldest job in the universe? Is your house such a mess that you’ve purchased a pair of horse blinders to help you ignore it? Oh, wait, maybe that’s just me. But I think you should probably join me in having some soup, anyway. Insert your own plethora of challenges, big and small. Surely soup will help.

I have big plans for this winter: I am not only going to cope, I am going to thrive! When I come out the other end of this dark, cold, snow-packed tunnel in March, I am going to be a better person than I am now in every conceivable way. How am I going to do this?

Soup, of course. Butternut Squash. Sweet Potato Carrot. White Bean and Sage. Chinese Chicken Noodle. Mushroom Barley. Zucchini. These are part of my current repertoire. But perhaps there will be other varieties, incarnations I can’t even imagine yet…

The Soup Opening Ceremonies were held a few weeks ago at our house when my my in-laws were visiting. My Mother in Law, Sandy, made an excellent Pea Soup with Ham. Around the same time, my brother donated some of his awesome Lentil Soup to our cause.

Last night, after running 45,000 errands, I whipped up some of the easiest soup I know: Broccoli Leek. One thing I’ve learned about cooking is that making soup is actually about as simple as it gets.

For this soup, all you have to do is chop down about three broccoli trees and wash the silt out of three leeks.

broccoli and leeks
Saute them together for a while then add some Chicken Broth:

broccoli leek broth

I used this:

Trader Joe's Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

These gals were none too happy that I used this ingredient. The fact that this chicken broth is “free range,” did nothing to assuage them. Note the cold shoulders:

chicken timers

Once the veggies seem soft, get out your Soup Smoosher. There are few processes in this life more satisfying than turning a pot of boiling solids into a cohesive liquid:

hand blender soup

If you don’t own a soup smoosher a.k.a. hand blender yet, go out and get one, immediately. (But turn off your stove first – a burned-down house is one problem that soup cannot solve.) (Also, whenever you are pressing on the “smooshing” button, leave the blade end of it SUBMERGED. Otherwise, hot soup will hit you in the face and splatter your walls, not to mention that it will ruin your favorite apron. It’s the same principle behind leaving the lid on the blender whilst blending.)

Finally, plate bowl your soup and don’t forget to add plenty of cracked pepper on top. Find some extra-hearty bread, put on your softest PJs, and dive in:

broccoli and leek soup

SMILE.

Any soup suggestions or recipes? It’s going to be a long winter….

14 replies

  1. Oh you are so right, soup DOES solve everything! I have a marvelous Cream of Mushroom soup you might like. I know, I know, it sounds boring, but it is FAR from boring!! I haven’t made it in ages, but you sautee mushrooms and then puree some too 🙂 I’ll dig out the recipe when I get home and send it if you’re interested. I also have a Sausage Lentil soup that is amazing. Even my two teenage boys eat it! Interested in that one? It’s incredibly easy as well. BONUS!

    • Yes! Would love those recipes! Thank you 🙂 And by the way, NOTHING that includes mushrooms could ever be considered boring!

      • YAY! I love to share recipes, especially ones that are my tried and true favorites. Please let me know what you think after you make them.

        PS- I don’t think mushrooms are boring either. I just purchased a jar of seasoned (with garlic and other yummy spices) mushrooms that I can hardly wait to pop the top on.

  2. This soup looks delicious! And not just because I’m currently starving, either.

    By the way, you’re officially my featured blogger (sidebar of my blog) through the end of the month! Check it out! 🙂

    • Super easy: chop up 2 big onions (white), saute with butter and olive oil (or both!) in a soup pot, chop about 6 ish carrots and 3-4 big sweet potatoes, put them in with onions and add enough chicken broth to cover it all. Simmer until they are all soft then use the soup smoosher. Add a few T of dill and a half a cup of sour cream. THIS SOUP IS ALWAYS A HIT! (apologies for approximations here, not an exact science)

  3. I have bad news…. I can’t find the mushroom soup recipe. I haven’t made it in years, so I’m not exactly sure where to look (I collect cookbooks like you collect mushrooms). I won’t give up!!

    The good news is…. I DO have the lentil recipe. I also have a Cheesy Beer Soup recipe if that sounds tasty. Let me tell ya, it’s delish! Let me know if you want it.

    Sausage Lentil Soup
    Taste of Home magazine Sept. 2005 (with a few alterations of my own)

    1/2 lb. Italian sausage (I use mild, but medium is also good)
    1 large onion, diced
    1 small carrot, diced
    1 large garlic clove, diced (I press mine, it’s easier)
    1 bay leaf
    29 oz. chicken broth
    14-16 oz. diced tomatoes, including the juice in the can (I use petite diced so I don’t bite into a big ol’ tomato)
    1 cup water
    3/4 c. dry lentils

    Slice the sausage into bite size pieces. Fry until they are nice and golden brown. Drain. Add all ingredients to a pot and simmer until the lentils are tender (several hours on low). Remove the bay leaf prior to serving.

    This recipe doesn’t make a lot, so I always double the recipe and use an entire bag of lentils. Depending on how much sausage is in the package, I might add more than the recipe calls for.

    Enjoy!!

  4. I love it! I love you, and I love, love soups! This soup has been on my, “need to make soon” list. And what ever soup you’re making, do not forget the delish doughy bread that goes with it:-)) I will be using your recipe. Fun, fun!

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