My creativity these days is severely impaired by the flu season. Any energy I have devoted to making different sick-foods. So here goes:
The secret to making good soup is stock. And the secret to making stock is to just make it.
This is our household soup-making routine these days
Day 1: In the morning, prepare stock. Stock is ready by evening.
Day 2: prepare soup with stock made yesterday and eat.
I make stock in small quantities as I don’t have the utensils or huge pots for large amounts. For stock, I put any chicken parts, plus any available vegetables (including tons and tons of garlic) in a pan, and cover with water. Bring to boil and let simmer for hours and hours and hours. From morning to night. At night, I strain the mixture, pressing some of the pulped solids through the sieve in to the stock, and refrigerate. In the morning, I have beautiful bowl of jelly-like stock, ready for use.
Here are two recipes for the soups I made this week:
1-split pea and vegetable soup: This is a nice thick yellowy soup.
Wash split peas, cover with water, bring to boil and let simmer. Add a nice bowlful of stock. Chop and add available vegetables; but not too much or not too many different varieties. I had potato and celery, annd just one small carrot. Don’t let cook for too long. at the very end, add some snipped parsely.
2-Mushroom and rice soup: This is a filling creamy soup.
Wash and chop mushrooms, melt butter, add mushrooms to butter. I also added some celery, simply because I have some sitting in the fridge. After a while, add some flour. Keep stirring. Slowly add some milk, until you have a thick creamy paste swirling around the vegetables. Add a bowful of stock. Add a handful of washed rice. Bring to boil, and let simmer. Finally, add some snipped parsely. You can have this with grated cheese for a more savoury kick.
In any case, making soups isn’t particularly easy (think, preparing and chopping all those vegetables), the kids make a helluva fuss eating it, and nor has it succeeded in banishing the flu from the house. We are drowning in soup and flu. Nevertheless, I continue making a pot of soup every other day, following time-honoured tradition. There is something morally decadent about not having soup when you’re sick.
However, tonight, I am hoping to have a chicken and mango pizza from the local delicatessen. Death to soup.