I made soup yesterday, for the first time ever. (And no, I don’t mean opening a can–one of my friends thought that’s what I meant. I mean chopping stuff up, dumping it in a pot of water, and boiling it. As if that really requires any more talent.) Okay, so it’s not a terrifically advanced cooking technique, but it was from scratch and it was my first. It was fun, and worked out pretty well. I’m going to make it again once I plough through the leftovers from this round.
Here’s the thing: it was part of a health program dealie, and it was not at all targeted at someone who had never made soup before.
Here’s what it said: “Make vegetable broth out of seasonal roots and leafy greens.” From whence it listed every conceivable root and leafy green known to man, along with “one or two kinds of legumes, beans” and other things I can’t remember right now. I knew it was out of the question to put them all in one pot, so I grabbed a random selection of the vegetables I actually recognized, and hoped they would work together in soup. It was pretty successful, and tastes good.
However, I learned several things about making soup, and thought I would share them for the encouragement and edification of our dear readers:
1. Season it more than you think you have to. You have to put a frightening amount of seasonings in it before it actually tastes like you seasoned it at all.
2. Lentils sink, even though nothing else in the soup does. So if you’re wondering where the lentils are, they’re hanging out at the bottom of the pot.
3. Yellow squash in soup is a very, very good idea.
4. Remembering at the last second to put the onions in the soup is a good idea.
5. Forgetting to put the carrots in the soup is not such a good idea.
6. Chopping a beet to put in the soup is a good idea if you like beets, and don’t mind everything turning fuchsia.
7. Chopping a beet looks and feels more like slaughtering it (terrible red juicy mess).
8. After sitting as leftovers in the fridge for just one night, the potatoes absorb enough beet juice to be nearly indistinguishable from beets by their looks. Still tastes like a potato.
9. Yellow squash turns the color of carrots when soaked in beet juice.
10. Celery turns a color that does not naturally exist anywhere on earth when soaked in beet juice.
11. Lentils still look like lentils. And they still sink.
12. As much as I like beets (and the color fuchsia), I doubt very much I will be putting them in soup again any time soon. Maybe beet stew.
So wow — I actually managed to get a post up here that was truly and totally random. I’m kind of proud of myself. If you’re looking for something a bit more genuinely edifying, be sure to check out the previous post. It’s one of my favorites so far.