The Making of Soup

Grandma Kradel was a fan of soup. It’s a great way to feed a large family like ours, a big one pot meal. Fall and winter are considered to be soup season – it’s something that can be left on the stove and eaten throughout the day to keep warm. Now that we’ve “discovered” our Scottish heritage, this makes a bit of sense that soup played a role in our culinary lives.

I brought this up the other day and one of my Kradel cousins asked me for a few good soup recipes and my response to her was that I don’t really follow a recipe, I make it up as I go along – even for standard soups like Lentil, Black Bean, and Vegetable.

But, I always start my soups in the same way and grow them from this basic foundation:

Starting a Basic Vegetable Soup

Get out the soup pot and put it on the stove.
Add a nice slab of butter, or a bit of butter and a slurp of olive oil to the pan and turn the fire on low.
Add just a dash of salt and a lot of pepper from the peppermill.
I add my soup herbs to the melting butter and warming oil and the herbs I use depend on the vegetables that I’m going to use. But I can almost always count on putting in a lot of dried basil and if there are potatoes in the soup, dried thyme.
I almost always start my soups with chopped onion.
You can chop the onion however you like it, fine to chunky.
I then add the onion to the pot.
I then add what ever chopped vegetables I’ve gathered for the soup.
I saute them all together until the onions are almost clear.
When I get to that point I add filtered water, or stock.

And then I let it simmer – not boil – for about an hour and a half. Over cooking is not too much of a problem. Under cooking will leave the vegetables tasting a little raw. You want to do some taste testing until you can tell that the flavors of the vegetables have melded together.

And that’s it. Easy peasy take it easy on the Keasey!

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