I’d probably be able to come up with a title that was a better play on the “five people you meet in heaven” if I’d read the book, I bet. But anyway. It’s finally soup weather, sort of, here in Southern California and I’m super excited to put my dutch oven to use. Soup is one of my favorite things and these are my five mainstays.
- Chicken Broth. Okay, not really a soup, but it’s one of those things that is super easy to make and have on hand. Toss a bunch of chicken parts (necks and wings are great to use, leftover roast chicken carcass is fine, whatever chicken you have on hand. If you are prepared you have been freezing bits and scraps of chicken for this purpose all along but if you’re not you can buy a whole ton of chicken wings for next to nothing) in a stockpot with some cut up onion, celery and carrot if you’re feeling crazy. Simmer for a long time. Strain, cool, and portion out into 1 cup bags to freeze. Use as the basis for other soups, in sauces or as a soup itself with some noodles or a matzo ball or whatever you’ve got handy.
- Tomato Soup. I feel so strongly about tomato soup that I have two master recipes and STILL can’t decide which one I like best. Sally Schneider’s version is the easiest but Deborah Madison’s is the creamiest, even with just grilled cheese instead of souffleed cheese toasts.
- Sick Person’s Soup. It’s winter time. You’re going to get sick. Chicken broth will help but for a change of pace you should have some of Deborah Madison’s Dieter’s/Sick Person’s soup on hand- I’ve been getting over a head cold and cursing the lack of sick person’s soup in my house. And if you are dieting, a big bowlful of this with some Ok Mak crackers makes a great lunch.
- Bean Soup. I’m partial to Deborah Madison’s black bean soups, especially this one, but am going to be branching out and trying her pinto bean soup over rice with red chile and cheese next week.
- Split pea soup. This recipe is the one to try even if you think you hate split pea soup- the rosemary, lemon and paprika seal the deal. Although as I have learned, you will need to double it if you want leftovers to freeze.
Some people get excited about sweater weather, or boot weather, but for me, it’s all about the soup weather. Fix up a bowl and dig in.