I grew up in a crowded apartment building in NYC. My mom was single, so to help out, and because they really loved us, my mom's parents would pick my little brother and me up from school on Friday afternoons and trek us out to their modest but comfortable house about 30 minutes onto Long Island. Some of my happiest memories are of those times.
My grandma, a classic (i.e., stereotypical) Jewish grandma and cook, would almost always have a pot of vegetable soup, barley soup, split pea soup, or dare-I-say, the classic chicken soup waiting for us upon our arrival. Soups go so far back into my personal comfort memories that they are practically a part of my lizard brain! So I REALLY LOVE SOUPS because they are ALL ABOUT THE LOVE to me!
During the cooler months, I usually make some kind of soup at least once a week. And I always remember my grandma.
Soups are AMAZING because:
- You can make a great soup from practically anything you have in your fridge and pantry
- You can feed a lotta folks from one pot
- You can have leftovers for several days
- One pot meals are easy to make and clean up from!
- They are warm, cozy, friendly, and nourishing, and fill your home with an aroma of deliciousess.
I occasionally use soup recipes – mostly when I want to try something new or taste someone else's style of cooking – but I mostly make them up.
This past week I wanted to have soup ready for my husband when he got home from a road trip on a snowy afternoon. We were at the end of our grocery week, so I just used what I had on hand…and it was perfect.
If you don't have all of these ingredients, that's cool, wing it with what you've got. Different beans, chicken instead of beans, different veggies. You'll still get something great. Just think of your soups like a symphony and over time and with practice, you'll learn what goes together to create perfect flavors.
Here ya' go:
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 small head of broccoli cut into small flowerettes
- Some handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (I don't always have this in the fridge–I just happened to have some from a previous recipe) or 1/2 tsp dried
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 16 oz can of chopped whole tomatoes
- 6 cups of water
- 2 Tbs Olive oil
- Red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp
- Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion until slightly translucent. Add all of your other veggies and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, water, and rosemary sprig, bring to a boil, turn down, and simmer vigorously for 30 minutes. Stir a few times here and there. Add the beans and seasonings. Cook another 10 minutes.
Voila. Done, gorgeous, and delicious. This should serve 6-8 with generous portions.
Do you have a favorite soup memory or recipe? Please share it in the comments section below. I'd love to hear about it. A recipe? Share away!