Soup is the backbone of peasant cuisine and for good reason. It uses the backbone (and fins, and toss-outs) for stock. The other good reason? It’s delicious! Best of all, as you practice making soup you quickly learn a process that allows you to think on your feet. In preparing other meals you’ll know what scraps to throw away and what scraps to “save for a soup”.
I also enjoy making soup because you can make as much or as little as needed for the day (or week). I personally don’t like to have the same soup as a leftover so I tend to make only enough for one meal.
These obsevations boiled up today because I recently had a Pumpkin and Sausage soup at a local eatery; the soup was delicious! As I ate it I realize I could probably reproduce those same flavors with very little effort. So…
Yesterday as I prepped the upcoming week’s menu I glanced at a can of pureed pumpkin, a can of light coconut milk and the boxed chicken stock in the pantry. I checked the freezer and sure enough, there was a sausage and pepper mix that is sold as a pasta meal starter (just add the pasta). Sitting this morning and reading a food magazine (cover story on- you guessed it, soup) I ran across a recipe for squash and sausage soup. YAY! No trip to the store, I’m using up food that’s already at the house.
This morning I cooked down fresh carrots and onions in a pan with a little olive oil, S&P. Roasted some garlic in the oven. Opened the canned pumpkin and mixed it into the carrot/onion mash. Squeezed a little roasted garlic (5 cloves) into the mash and placed it in the fridge. Also placed the sausage pepper mix into the fridge to thaw.
Later in the afternoon I pureed the vege mash with a stick blender, slowly mixed in the stock and coconut milk; heated the sausage mix, put it all together and then let the family tuck into the stovetop soup whenever they felt peckish. Yum!