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Restaurants began with good soups

March 23, 2010
By Wendy Monro

Last year, my father stayed with us for a while. One day, we looked in the refrigerator for something to make for lunch. It was bare. We needed to go to the grocery store because there wasn't much in the refrigerator. I didn't have a clue what we could make with what we had left.

We did, however, have tons of vegetables in the vegetable drawer. My dad suggested we make soup. He said whenever he had lots of vegetables, he made soup.

I hadn't made homemade soup before that day; but, I loved soup and thought we should give it a try. We just cut all of our vegetables up and threw them into a pot of boiling water, added some rice and seasonings and made a rice and vegetable soup. It turned out to be simple and delicious. I was surprised at how easy it was to make and how good it tasted.

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Lots of broccoli makes for a delicious Broccoli and Stilton Soup.

Since the inspiration given by my father, I have tried to make several other soups. I made a pinto bean soup and a black bean soup. Claud showed me how to make a delicious potato leek soup and a curried carrot soup, both of which were amazing, creamy and delicious.

I started looking into other soup recipes and discovered some interesting history of soup. Did you know that the word "restaurant" means "something restoring" in French? It was first used in 16th century France to describe a highly concentrated inexpensive soup sold by street vendors. They claimed that these soups would cure exhaustion. How wonderful, you mean no need for a prescription?

Soon, shops were opened which specialized in making these curative soups and they were called "restaurants." That is how we have come to use the modern version of the word restaurant. I had no idea that all of this came from soup... amazing.

Fact Box

Broccoli and stilton soup:

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 yellow onions, diced

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

2 C. broccoli stalks, chopped

4 C. stock (see my recipe for homemade stock)

3 C. broccoli florets

1/2 C. butter

1/2 C. sour cream

2 C. Stilton cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a stock pot. Add onions, celery, garlic and broccoli stalks. Cook until onions become transparent. Pour in stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for ten minutes. Add broccoli florets and simmer for ten minutes more. Add butter and sour cream. Cook until well blended. Use a hand mixer to mix everything together. Add in the stilton and blend will. Cook until cheese is melted and blended. Add salt and pepper. Enjoy.

Basically, soup can be just about anything you want it to be. I can't imagine anyone not liking soup in general because the possibilities with soup are endless. You can make a beer soup, an enchilada soup or a crab soup. Whether you are trying to use some of the remaining ingredients in your refrigerator or you are making something well planned with your favorite ingredients, soups are sure to please someone somewhere.

You can make a huge pot of soup and store them in individual portion sized containers in your freezer to bring out and eat at any time for a quick easy meal. Another idea is to throw all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and have the soup cook while you are away. That way, you can come home to a delicious meal any time.

Allrecipes.com has many great recipes for slow cooker soups. They also have great recipes for stews and chili for a slow cooker.

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As you know, one of my favorite ingredients is cheese. I have a passion for cheese and love recipes which include cheese in them. So, it goes without saying, that I would adore soups with cheese involved in the ingredients. Here is a recipe with stilton cheese and broccoli which Claud and I made last week. It was so delicious and so easy to make. I don't know if it is true that soups cure exhaustion, but after a long day, an easy meal like this one will definitely make you feel warm and relaxed. It is a velvety smooth texture with a strong but not overpowering flavor.

 
 

 

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