Opening a can of soup and calling it dinner is tacky and depressing.
There, I’ve said it.
Yes, there are low sodium, increased vegetable, “like homemade,” etc. But considering how fast and easy it really is to make soup from scratch , there’s no reason for any of us to ever again open a can of soup (unless of course we’re being ironic)!
What follows is a blueprint for homemade soup that scarcely takes more time and effort than does opening a can of soup and heating it up. You’ll need some stock (chicken, beef, fish or vegetable); a few potatoes (or cups of cooked rice); and another vegetable or two.
Here’s the general idea (serves about 4): To a quart of broth, add 3 or 4 scrubbed thin-skinned potatoes, sliced in rough chunks. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Add about a cup or so washed aromatic vegetable (celery, napa cabbage, leeks – anything that you have on hand or that looks good at the market). Simmer until all vegetables are fork tender. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth – ish (with an immerson blender you will never achieve 100% smoothness. The soup will retain a rustic, chunky quality). Season with salt and pepper to taste. When nearly ready to serve, add approx 1/4 cup of half and half, whole milk or cream. Stir and reheat until hot but not boiling. If it looks too thick, add water. Serve with sliced apples or pears; crusty bread: and cheese; and by all means open up a bottle of one of First Vine’s sturdy, quaffable everyday reds or everyday whites.
A note about stock: while it’s very easy to make your own (just boil a chicken carcass and/or whatever vegetable trimmings you’ve saved up for a few hours in about a quart of water), it does take some forethought. So if you don’t have any on hand , it’s perfectly okay to buy ready-made stock. Look for one of the brands that comes in a cardboard carton, you will usually find something on sale.
Another reason I love to make this soup is because it’s a great way to use up odds and ends of vegetables you have lying around in your fridge. For St Patrick’s Day, we had a Napa Cabbage and potato soup – a modern take on the traditional Irish cabbage and potatoes fare! And the soup was bright green to boot.