The Formula of Soup

First, I just want to show off some new bowls I got!  A friend of mine directed me towards some Pyrex bowls that were only $12, and we can always use new mixing bowls around here.  I tend to lose them either to the dog, to the backyard or to breakage.  Either way, $12 is a great price for replacements!

Soup is one of those dishes that goes back in time as far as the invention of the pot.  I find it amazing how many thousands of years people have been making soup…and are still making soup.  It’s like a culinary link in time that comforts me, somehow.  It gives me a link to mothers of yonder days, and I love that.

Except, we have aisles of canned soup these days.  Aisles and aisles and aisles…which just sounds funny if you keep saying it.  Aisles.  And it’ll probably start tasting funny if you keep eating it.  Soup is a home meal.  It should be made by someone you know and it should comfort you during the cold days.  Soup can be hearty or it can be light; it can be chicken or it can be veg only; it can use beef or it can use legumes.

In my book, soup can go any direction: therefore, I give you The Formula of Soup.

Soup has layers:

  • The broth – this is usually water based, but it includes broth of some sort (beef, chicken, veg)
  • The filler – this is the part of the soup that thickens it up.  The rice, lentils or potatoes go here.
  • The secondary – this will be the vegetables that you see most; carrots, mushrooms, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, etc.
  • The primary – this is the meat, and after which the soup will be named, like “Chicken Soup” or “Beef Soup” or “Vegetable Soup”

Here are the ratios of the layers:

  • The broth – you will have about 8-10 cups of broth & water
  • The filler – 1/2 cup of rice or lentils, 2 cups of chopped potatoes
  • The secondary – 1 cup of chopped veg, and I would suggest 2 veg for a soup
  • The primary – 2 cups of shredded or small cubed meat

The Layers of Spices:

  • Kosher salt – 2 tsp
  • Ground pepper –a few good turns
  • Garlic powder – 2 tsp
  • A green herb: 1 tsp.  this is more up to what flavor you want for the day.  I prefer thyme and parsley, but basil, sage and oregano are totally awesome.

Get out your pressure cooker:

Put in a whole chicken, a chicken carcass, chicken pieces, or the beef, pork.  Add 6 cups of water, 1 tsp Kosher salt, garlic powder.  This is just to cook the meat and get a broth going, mostly.  Cook on high for 20 minutes.

When this is finished, put the chicken into a colander over a bowl and cover it (this just lets the chicken drain and cool so you can pull the meat off).

Add your secondary, filler and spices into the pressure cooker to combine with the broth, and add enough water to fill the pot (so maybe 10 cups, but I don’t think you really need to measure this).  Cook on high for 10 minutes.

Pull apart the chicken meat into a bowl and throw away all the bones and cartilage.  When the 10 minutes are up, add the chicken and let it sit for a couple minutes, just to get the flavors to combine.

This should be the best soup you’ve ever had, and you can make it in under an hour with super fresh ingredients!  Bonus!

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