Have you researched the history of soup? The first soups are thought to have been made roughly over 20,000 years ago. Archeologists believe that even before pottery containers were invented, holes were dug into the ground and lined with leaves or animal skins and filled with water, grains, bones, leaves, seeds and edible plants and hot stones dropped in to boil and form a rich nutritious broth. Around the 1800’s pocket soup or portable soup was made to take on journeys by reducing a rich meat broth by at least 50%. The resulting gelatinous product was somewhat stable and could be carried in one’s pocket or bag, to be reconstituted by adding water. Pocket soups were the precursor of condensed soups, first canned around 1887.
I’m sure you all remember making stone soup as a child, and eating the ubiquitous canned tomato soup for lunch. You should not avoid making soup thinking of it as only for the sick, or a complicated and time consuming process. Sure, like any from scratch cooking, making soup takes more time than dehydrated or canned. However, there are many benefits to making home-made meals and soup is no exception. Canned and dehydrated soups are convenient, but if you must depend on instant dehydrated or canned foods for any reason, or like me, like to keep soup always available, look for those that are lower in sodium and fat. With so much variety and so many ways you can use soups, make it a part of your ingredients list and menus.
In the spirit of the holiday season I’ll share my favorite soup recipe which has become a family tradition for every special occasion and year round.
In a skillet heat olive oil butter until butter melts. Add the mushrooms, garlic, onions and parsley. Cover to keep the juices in, stir occasionally and sauté until all become tender on low heat. Add the chicken broth and wild rice, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the wild rice is cooked. If additional liquid is needed add another 1 cup of chicken broth. When ready to serve add half and half or rich milk to hot soup, stirring to mix. Heat to simmer, but do not boil as the cream will curdle. Add the heavy cream and stir. Serve hot with additional fresh mushrooms on top.