By Deb Kemps

Food-Soups-OnThe temperatures won’t exceed the 40s today, and for a Florida native, that is seriously cold weather.  My very first reaction when I had heard we were getting a cold front was, “I am making soup.” I love soup; it is comfort food for me. Does anyone else get comfort from a bowl of hot soup? For me, it starts with the cooking of the soup and the aroma that fills the house. The anticipation of comfort has started. It is like a big warm hug from my mom.

Psychological studies have shown evidence that the comfort food you crave is an artifact from your past. We relate our comfort food to happier times. Eating a specific meal that a loved one enjoyed can trigger happy thoughts and memories. It can remind us of a happy event or place. I know it is true for me, as I always relate a cup of hot soup to my mom and family snuggling on a cold day.

Not surprisingly, it appears soups have always been enjoyed and utilized, not only for warmth and nutrition, but survival, and their existence can date back as early as 20,000 BC. The ability to boil water was the key to innovation and was not feasible until waterproof vessels were made, most likely clay pots. Hides, tree bark and tightly woven baskets were used to hold liquids. Rocks were used as a heat source to boil the liquids. They always found a way to make soup.

The word soup as we know it came from the French “soupe,” which comes through Latin’s “suppa,” which meant (bread soaked in broth), and from a Germanic source of the word “sop,” (using a piece of bread to soak up broth or stew). It seemed every culture had its own version of a soup, stew or bisque, and flavors familiar with their origins. In 1742, one of the first American colonial cookbooks came out with several recipes for soups and bisques, and American culture has been enjoying a variety of these ever since – including cold soups. I like a good vegetable soup. My recipe below is a good, basic soup and you can make a variety of soups or bisques using this recipe as a base, including my sister Annie’s favorite, chicken and dumplings. Simply add cooked chicken and follow the recipe on the Bisquick box for drop dumplings. Yummy. Hope you enjoy and stay comfy in chilly days ahead. 

Vegetable Soup

  • 2 tbsp. butter (olive oil if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, sliced ¼ inch
  • Croutons/crusty loaf bread/dumplings
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced 2 tbs.
  • ¼ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup mixed squash ¼ inch
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water,
  • ½ cup white wine,
  • ¼ cup for the soup
  • 1 tbsp. celery salt
  • 1 tbsp. poultry seasoning
  • crushed black pepper to taste
  • All seasoning should be to your taste, but this is a good start

Lightly brown garlic in butter, mix in onion, carrots and celery. Add spices.  Cook down on medium heat until vegetables glisten (sweat). Add white wine and deglaze (scrape bottom of pan for the yummy crusty stuff), mix well. Add remainder of vegetables and any cooked meat or pasta (optional).  Mix in remainder of vegetables.  Simmer, adding broth and water.  Bring to boil, reduce and cover.  Lightly simmer for 1 hour.  Serve. Top with croutons or enjoy with a nice crusty bread.