Soups are light and heartwarming, and, can be very healthy.
Different regions of the globe have their different varieties of
soup and I would think there are thousands of different recipes for
soup. Most soups naturally take the flavors of the region from which
We take soups for granted today because they are so easy to
purchase at the grocery. Heck, you can even whip up a homemade soup
in less than 2 hours! If we look back in time several hundred years
ago and we'll certainly see a different story.
The word "soup"
comes from the word "sop", you know like "sop the
gravy", in which a piece of bread is dipped in a pot of
remaining juices in a dish. The first soup reportedly dates back to
6000 B.C. More currently (1500's or so) the New World travelers made
soups, but, not for the reasons we do. Back then the soup was the
final exercise in using every morsel of food available (available
food and hunger was an everyday concern). Animal bones
(seafood and livestock) were used, and, with a twofold purpose;
residual pieces of meat were extracted, and, the bone marrow was
extracted as the bones were normally broken before going into the
pot. You could call this little process the making of a classic stock. Vegetables were thrown in
and there you had it, a soup.
The soup was a good way to
keep foods from spoiling. Historically the big kettle was hung over a fire and
would be kept hot for extended periods of time, sometimes days or
more. The early folks would just keep
adding water and when another ingredient was acquired it could go into the
soup. As you can imagine creativity was not
the objective, this was survival. Through this simple survival
technique came a dish that was considered "fit for the
King" in many settings.
You ever heard of
"Portable Soup"? No, it wasn't a can of soup, try again
[we're talking about the years gone by here].
Soup would be cooked down until it was extremely thick. At the
proper point the soup was removed from the fire and cooled.
The final result was was a dense cake of condensed soup that could
be wrapped and brought on long trips by land and sea. When it was
time to eat, a pot of water was heated and the "Portable
Soup" was tossed in.
Today we still enjoy soup
but the variations are almost unlimited. It's a refreshing, simple and small taste of good food
that just "hits the spot" on a cold day. Here are a few of my favorites.