Favorite soup recipes?

My most ardent questioner (Elizabeth) asked me about my favorite soup recipes over a month ago, and I procrastinated this answer long enough.  To me, soup is a way to use leftovers.  I make at least one huge batch of chicken stock each month in the fall and winter because I buy whole chickens, and I hate to waste any part of them (plus, I drink hot chicken broth like tea), so it’s easy for me to just throw a pot of leftovers together to make a soup.


Rosemary. For no reason.

One thing I know for sure is that soup tastes better when it’s pureed.  I have a Cuisinart Smart Stick, and I know how to use it!  Also, in terms of general guidelines, if you’re adding parsley, add it right before serving and whatever you do, do not over-salt!

I start most soups by sweating onions in a tiny bit of chicken fat or olive oil and then adding chopped carrots and celery and whatever fresh herbs I’m using (usually rosemary or sage).  I believe this is called a mirepoix.

Starting a soup

Starting a soup

I keep sautéing that over medium heat until the onions are just starting to brown, then I add hot chicken broth and whatever else I have laying around (leftover chicken, leftover beans, rice, vegetables I’m trying to use up, leftover pasta, etc.)  I cook it until it’s all hot and salt to taste and voila, soup!

If you’re going to bother making soup, though, make sure you make a lot!  It doesn’t take much more effort to make a ton of soup as opposed to making a little bit.  Keep eating it for days or give some as a gift.  I use washed out jars from Gia Russa pasta sauce to store my stock and soup.  (Yes, back in the day, I made my *own* pasta sauce  — as well as hand-made pasta — and as an Italian, it shames me to purchase it, but hey, family life, blogging, and improv take up a lot of time, ok?!)

Tonight, I made a lovely soup that was incredibly simple.  I just cooked some frozen baby lima beans in chicken stock for the requisite 15 minutes, then added some frozen chopped spinach and a spoonful of Whole Foods original humus and it was pretty spectacular.  The stock I used was incredible, though.  I made it earlier today, cooked it down for 8 hours and it hadn’t been defatted yet.


3 Responses to Favorite soup recipes?

  1. elizabeth says:

    ooh, i never would have thought to put hummus in soup…i can’t wait to try this! will keep you posted…my dulse and laver might have to make way for soup in the family portrait…

  2. […] Favorite soup recipes? « SYNTK […]

  3. […] it, the ingredients are solid, and best of all, the jars are the PERFECT size in which to keep the copious amounts of chicken stock I make during the fall, winter and early spring.  If you have any leftover Gia Russa jars, and […]

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