I just heard that January is National Soup Month. That fits! I love soup, and eat it off and on all year long, but the cold days of January are the perfect time for soup. It’s wonderful that you can take whatever is sitting around your kitchen and create something very tasty. What goes into soup is often leftover bits of things that no one really wants, and many times each thing is in a small enough quantity that you can’t do much with any of them on their own.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve bought things specifically to make soup. I have plenty of recipes that call for specific ingredients and quantities of those ingredients (which I only consider suggestions!), but my favorite and most often made soup is what we call scavenger soup. I’m sure most of you have your own name for it. Mine starts with water, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, black pepper, and usually some bouillon. Then I head for the pantry so I can add in things like barley, quinoa, lentils, and/or whatever else I find in there. The last step is looking through the refrigerator for some vegetables and maybe even some meat that I can add. If there’s still room, I check out the freezer, too. The soups are somewhat similar, but always a little different every time. I just finished up eating a batch of soup that my husband made for me late last week. I had a bit of a cold, so he surprised me when I got home from work. Since he works from home, he took the time during his lunch break to create a wonderful ‘scavenger’ soup for me. The soup and my neti pot kicked out that cold quickly!
Soup has made its way into many places. Companies produce it for purchase in cans or packs, restaurants offer it, and of course you can make your own. If you’re lucky, someone will make some for you!
Soup is basic, yet important. It can be simple, or elegant. Even places that feed the hungry use the term “soup kitchen”. Soup is a nutritious, often inexpensive, way to feed many people.
Soup has been mentioned in movies and tv shows. It played a part in at least two Seinfeld episodes – “Soup Nazi” (a very well known episode) is one of them, and another is called simply, “The Soup”.
There are expressions that reference soup. “Soup something up” means to make it more powerful. “Soup’s on” means the meal is ready – soup is used to reference any type of food. That’s just two of the expressions you can find.
It seems that soup is an important part of the human experience. I guess that’s why it has its own month.