Let’s take a break from packing so I can write about my absolute favorite type of food to make…soup. When I was a kid I had terrible eating habits, and I don’t think I ever had soup apart from chicken noodle when I was sick. Maybe this is why I didn’t like soup? Even as an adult I didn’t like chicken noodle (before I gave up eating farm animals). Being served it whenever I was sick gave me that association so I couldn’t handle it when I was well. It’s also likely that I didn’t like soup because it was food that was “mixed together” and I was the type of picky eater that needed all my food to be kept in its own separate sections on my plate.
Once I got older and started branching out in my food choices, I discovered that I liked soup. It has my two favorite elements…it’s hot so it keeps me warm in the winter, and it’s savory. I love salt, and the sodium-fest in a can of soup kept me very happy. I would order french onion soup at the cheap diners my friends and I would go to. I think french onion soup is like a gateway soup…even if you’re not a fan of onions, you might just order it for the cheesy bread that tops it. Mmm…cheesy bread. Where was I?
So between french onion soup at restaurants and canned minestrone at home, I still wasn’t an adventurous soup eater. I had a memory today (what inspired this post) about a trip to Ireland I took with a friend after college…specifically visiting the Kilmainham Gaol and stopping for lunch in their cafeteria. I ordered a vegetable soup, and was presented with the Best Soup I’d Ever Had. It was savory but not too salty. Full of vegetables cooked just right. A little bit of sour cream. Remembering it, I just realized that that was probably the first homemade soup I’d ever had.
The first year I moved out of my parents house, I lived on canned soup, yogurt and boxed pasta (with some fruit here and there to ward off scurvy). Then-boyfriend and now-husband Trench moved in after year one and our attempts at cooking together weren’t much better. I remember a lot of Annie’s mac n cheese, and cooking to us was slicing up vegetables to put on frozen pizza. That year for Xmas I told my family that I wanted a cookbook…a “how to boil water” type of cookbook. My aunt bought me “Help My Apartment Has a Kitchen”. This book honestly taught Trench and I how to cook. We made our first pot of chili and took off from there. Now Trench is practically a gourmet. I simply increased my love for one pot meals, and cooked my way through the chapter on soups. Once you start making homemade soups, you can’t go back. Chili, soups, stews…I’m all over it. I’ll leave the tilapia with mango topping and roasted kale to Trench, and thank the fates for linking me with someone who considers that to be “lazy cooking.”