Yesterday, visitors stopped by the house mid-afternoon and I threw on a pot of soup. My husband and I ended up eating potato soup with a slight variation – a moist vegetable bouillon added at the end of cooking instead of butter. I threw in some half ‘n half since we don’t buy milk. So much for a vegan meal. 🙂
My daughter and son-in-law dropped over with a toddler, and a bagful of Mexican-American style fast food in hand. As they unpacked their meal and began to eat, I told her I was hungry.
“Oh, Mom I’m sorry. We thought you would have already eaten or we would have bought you some.”
I thought, what can I make that’s quick to eat? Cous cous came to mind, so I made that. While the cous cous steamed, off the heat in a lid-covered pan, I began preparing the onions and celery for the soup.
I remember years and years ago buying a book at the grocery store checkout entitled, Soups by Irena Chalmers. She was born in London, England and “she studied at the Cordon Bleu School of Cookery,” according to the back cover of the 48 page book. Potpourri Press, Greensboro, NC published the book and it’s copyrighted by Irena Chalmers for the text in 1975 and by Bob Penny for drawings in 1975.
In the early years of our marriage, my husband and I lived in a neighborhood with a number of stay-at-home moms. My next door neighbor and I used to search for new recipes. I wanted to make wonderful soups and I never seemed to reach that level until I got the Soups book.
I remember using leftover vegetables. On page 7, Ms. Chalmers revolutionized my thinking with these two sentences, “…, a good broth is made from only the freshest of ingredients. Every vegetable that is put in the pot must be fresh enough to be served raw.”
My younger sister helped with soup preparation advice some years later when I lamented about “watery” tasting soup. “You need more spices.”
I kept adding more ingredients and more water expecting the flavor to remain as tasty. Hmm.
Tonight, I pulled out a cookbook to make black bean soup but after I began the basics I changed my mind and it turned into minestrone soup. Mm mmm good, if I do say so myself.
It’s funny the things I used to struggle over that come so easily now, although rarely now, I’ll make a pot of soup and mix spices together from cuisines from around the world that don’t mesh well together.
Mint, cumin, garlic, tarragon, dill weed, garam masala, chili powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and turmeric thrown together turns off the appetite and spoils the rest of the ingredients.
I exaggerated here, but I’ve mixed conflicting tastes while experimenting and ruined some meals.
Speaking of ruining a meal, in the Old Testament, some men made food in a large pot and someone threw in gourds from a likely looking vine which turned out to be poisonous. Here’s what happened:
2Kings_4:38, (ESV): And Elisha came again to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land. And as the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Set on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.”
2Ki_4:39 One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were.
2Ki_4:40 And they poured out some for the men to eat. But while they were eating of the stew, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.
2Ki_4:41 He said, “Then bring flour.” And he threw it into the pot and said, “Pour some out for the men, that they may eat.” And there was no harm in the pot.
God protected the men through the prophet and Jesus said in Mark 16:15, (ESV): “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
Mar 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Mar 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
Mar 16:18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Mar 16:19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
These are the final words of Jesus that He wanted to impress on His people because they were important to Him.
I don’t take the promises of Jesus lightly and I surely appreciate them.
Ms. Chalmers said to use fresh ingredients in the soups for better flavor but she also mentioned legends of men eating a generation old soup and the fact that food poisoning would result.
I ate a sauce at a restaurant that caused a food allergy which felt like poison to me. I thank God that He protected me and I appreciate emergency room doctors and nurses.
Do you have a favorite soup or food? I tend to order broccoli soup when out, although it’s easy to make at home.
May God bless you.