Friday, September 24, 2010

Season for Soup

Tis the season for soup, one-of-a-kind soups you put together from 'what is on hand'. Not always the most visually lovely of foods, but homemade soups of any kind are definitely among the more comforting and soul-satisfying meals I've eaten. My sister-in-law, Gretchen is the undeniable Soup Queen, and I have learned a lot watching her put together a pot of soup. A variety of vegetables with a leafy green included are a must, like these I used from our garden: Bright Lights Chard, pole beans, carrots, patty pan squash and parsley. With the variety of late season produce now available in the garden (and before the frosts come) now is the season for soup making.

Any kind of one of the less desirable cuts of meat is also a must: meaty goat bones, lamb shanks, chicken necks, turkey wings and here I used the leftovers from a roast goose we had the night before (and yes, it was REALLY good). There is no recipe for soup made with the ever changing 'what is on hand'. The leftover risotto from several nights back, the cornbread stuffing and roasted potatoes served with the goose and the drippings all went in to this pot, along with more sage and some salt. Another time I may use leftover cooked kidney beans, roasted beets and cabbage shredded, but not used, for salad. 'What is on hand' soup is never the same but it's always good. Even though this is my not-so-big-pot, and all of us ate several bowls of soup (and yes, it was REALLY good), I was pleased to freeze a couple containers of soul-satisfying soup to have stashed away simply needing to be heated. When needed, it will be like finding a forgotten $20 bill in a coat pocket!

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