Happy National SOUP DAY! When The Normanator and I learned that today is a special day, we all but cheered! We LOVE soup and often joke that we would eat it for breakfast if it were available!
There are jillions of soup recipes. This post is not about recipes; it is about creating something yummy with whatever you find in your kitchen. And making a soup supper an experience.
If you aim for convenience (and who does not?) may I suggest that you use cans of veggies? A can of corn, a can of green beans, a can of tomatoes, and if you are really feeling flush and well supplied, you could throw in some meat. Onions and celery make good additions to soup, too, as does cabbage! *So do leftover vegetables that may be languishing in your refrigerator. Cooked rice, barley or any other grain will “beef” up your soup…**Think quinoa, wheat berries, macaroni, lentils or beans.
Sometimes meat is unavailable. Meat is spendy. If you have a veggie soup and a cheese sandwich, you are fortunate. If you are really lucky you might even have the fixings for a salad. I am thinking Peas and Cheese salad…canned peas, whatever cheese you can grate or chop and some onion or pickle with a dab of mayo will really make your soup meal shine.
Another partner for soup could be a carrot salad and this is a great thing to get kids to eat their vegetables. Finely grate some carrots, toss in some cranberries or raisins, a dab of mayo and make mounds of salad on shredded cabbage or lettuce leaves, using an ice cream scoop.
When I was a kid my mom would make soup by boiling veggies, draining the water, adding whatever veggies–taters, carrots, onions, celery, for example. Then she would add milk or broth, depending what she had on hand. She seasoned the food with salt and pepper and we enjoyed the result of her labor.
When I grew up and found the Food Network I learned that sauteing the onions, carrots, taters or whichever vegetable will be in the soup is a nifty trick for adding flavor. You can use vegetable oil to keep things moist and then build your soup from there.
SIDEBAR: The suggestion is made to saute the vegetables. This does not mean that if you do NOT saute them that the Kitchen Police will nab you. Do what works for YOU in your kitchen! END SIDEBAR.
Go survey your pantry shelves and your fridge. Determine what is available. Do you have foods that are green or yellow or orange or white? Do you have tomatoes? How about garlic, if your gang fancies it? You might have onion powder or cumin or chili powder or some other flavor that could be added. Taste your concoction, add a pinch of flavor and taste it again. Playing with your food in this way makes for full flavor!
After you have decided what you’ll put into your soup, put some effort into setting an inviting table. Use mugs for the soup instead of bowls for a change. If you have place mats, that will make a nice touch. No mats? How about paper towels or clean hand towels from your bathroom shelf? Making a nice table, sharing a meal with your loved ones, engaging in meaningful tabletop conversation can shape your children’s lives in wonderful ways. Little people love to decorate paper table cloths or paper napkins with crayons and art work…
Many people like crackers in their soup. Some people place a slice of bread in the bottom of their bowl and pour the soup over it. You can also use popped corn to top off any soup. Kids think this is great fun.
Personally, I love to cook. Not everybody likes to cook, has the time to cook or the ingredients on hand to make soup or any other meal. It’s quite possible you never learned to cook for whatever reasons. Maybe you need a mentor. Ask a neighbor or relative or friend to take you under their wing and show you the tips that make their kitchen turn out great food. People love to help one another. Your local Action Center offers cooking classes, too. In Southeast Nebraska there is no cost for these lessons. For those of you who are in the Tecumseh, NE area you can call the office for information about the classes: 402 335 2134 and ask for Terri.
This little corner of the internet aims to help those who depend on Public Assistance for their food dollars and the Club House is always open for people who want to learn to cook. You are welcome to contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, how we love mail!
As you probably know, this blog is dedicated to helping people who use Public Assistance for their food dollars. You may hold an EBT card for WIC or SNAP…you may be using goods from food commodities or a food pantry. Maybe you attended a food drop or someone gifted you with some foodstuffs. In any case, our purpose here is to help you stretch your food budget and let you know that someone cares about your situation, whatever it may be.
Happy National Soup Day, kids! I hope this post has helped you. Please consider yourself hugged.
PS: Check out Carol’s blog! She has a soup recipe you’ll love! *Her blog is snazzier than this one, too! grin