December 26, 2006 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Soup has a history. Enjoy this comprehensive history of the humble (and sometimes not so humble) dish. A widely stated "fun fact" is that the earliest soup was made with hippopotamus bones, but fortunately today you have much tastier options. One favorite, chicken soup, is easy to make and really is good for you [pdf] .
posted by Deathalicious (25 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
As Pierre in a local company's production of Really Rosie I sang August in Carol King's Chicken Soup with Rice, which perhaps explains my affinity for soup. Or maybe I just like it because it tastes good and fills you up.

Some super fast recipes:
Pappa al Pomodoro
Cook a couple of tins of crushed tomatoes with some broth and a few slices of stale crusty bread until the bread is soft.
Pasta e Fagiole
Heat up 2 cans of white beans with one can of broth. When boiling, add a cup of small maccaroni or ditalini and cook until tender.
Fish Soup
Saute onions, add chopped carrots, celery, and other vegetables you like. Add water. 10 minutes before everything is cooked, add fresh or frozen white fish cut into cubes

posted by Deathalicious at 8:12 AM on December 26, 2006

Looks like the last link doesn't always redirect to the pdf. Here's a direct link to the PDF article.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:17 AM on December 26, 2006

Chicken soup, made properly with chicken feet and bones, has a lot of gelatin and bone marrow which relaxes the small intestines which gives that "soothing" feeling - which is why it's good for digestion, sickness, and stressful family holidays.
posted by stbalbach at 8:30 AM on December 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Chicken soup, made properly with chicken feet and bones, has a lot of gelatin and bone marrow...

Oxtail soup as well. Though hard to keep at steady boil since it seems to agitate our bovine friend.
posted by hal9k at 8:42 AM on December 26, 2006

Surely recipes for Turkey soup would have been more on point. Gotta get rid of those goddamned leftovers somehow...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:52 AM on December 26, 2006

Well, then, Peter -- here you go:

* turkey, shredded
* turkey or chicken stock
* roasted sweet corn from Trader Joe's (or just regular, that's cool, too)
* chopped tomatoes
* a few ribs of celery, chopped fine
* cilantro, chopped finely (but not too too much)
* cayenne, gualillo or other hot pepper, a few pinches

Eat with quesadillas -- hide some turkey in those, too, if you've got a ton to get rid of.

Alternately, meet my dachshund. She'll be over in 5 minutes.
posted by at 9:18 AM on December 26, 2006

Well, now I know what I'll be eating for lunch. Thanks!
posted by luftmensch at 9:35 AM on December 26, 2006

I had a soup party on Friday. Soup parties are great because they are easy to prepare for an easy to clean up after. The big hit of the party was this pumpkin soup recipe that I made with butternut squash, though the 50 cent matzoh ball soup in a box was a close second. I would also like to suggest my friend's The! Science! Of! Vegetable! Soup! recipe [self linkish] for people who like to experiment some. Nice post Deathalicious.
posted by jessamyn at 9:57 AM on December 26, 2006

I made a huge pot of turkey broth from the remains of the 21-pound bird from Christmas Eve. I am thinking I'll make about a third of it into a thick stew by adding about a third a cup of rice and simmering until that's mostly dissolved, adding some sliced chicken sausage and maybe some canned tomatoes towards the end. That still leaves a couple quarts. If I were at home instead of out of town at the inlaws, I'd freeze half of that and leave the other half in the fridge to be eaten slowly over the next week or so.
posted by mzurer at 10:05 AM on December 26, 2006

broth from the remains of the 21-pound bird

Sorry, but you just can't make proper broth from a cooked bird -- that ship has already sailed.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:13 AM on December 26, 2006

"Sorry, but you just can't make proper broth from a cooked bird -- that ship has already sailed."

Um. That statement pretty much flies in the face of nearly every traditional ethnic and regional cuisine I'm aware of that places an emphasis on not wasting food. Which is most of them.
posted by stenseng at 11:03 AM on December 26, 2006

Deathalicious: "As Pierre in a local company's production of Really Rosie I sang August in Carol King's Chicken Soup with Rice..."

Aha! So this is a self-link!

I kid. This is a great post, and soup is my favorite food. Thanks!
posted by koeselitz at 11:08 AM on December 26, 2006

I make broth and stock from cooked birds all the time, and very tasty it is too. In my college days, I'd often get a whole week's worth of quality edibles out of one roast chicken.

My favourite soup these days is leek-and-potato. In fact, I think that's what I'll have for lunch. Mmmmmm, soup.
posted by Pallas Athena at 11:09 AM on December 26, 2006

As far as broths from cooked chicken, the first link explains that a good stock is made from bones and remnants in order to release gelatin from the bones. I'm not clear whether cooked bones and cartilage can't still do this.

In any case, as anyone who's made soup from a cooked bird can attest, it still makes a wonderful soup. But if the goal is to make stock, then the raw carcass does work best.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:20 AM on December 26, 2006

StickyCarpet, that's an incredibly strange assertion to make. How often do you make anything besides a roast turkey out of a raw one? Besides a deep-fried turkey, that is...
posted by mzurer at 12:15 PM on December 26, 2006

Way cool! I love soup! Great soup recipe link and post, Deathalicious, thanks.

jessamyn, that's my fav pumpkin soup recipe. Delish!

Didn't know that about making chicken stock from raw chicken being better than that of a cooked bird. Makes sense.

Needing to economise over the last year or so, I found a handful of ingredients really add a lot to even the cheapest commercial soup, ordinary Campbell's or a humble ramen noodle packet. For ramen, add a few slices of lemongrass, a teaspoon of Huy Fong's chili garlic sauce and the juice of a lime. Curry powder adds nice pizazz to Campbell's Cream of Chicken. Chopped coriander/cilantro makes a few carrots, an onion and some bouillion into something really yummy! Progresso Hearty Tomato soup rocks and adding a dash of sherry to it or to a mushroom soup adds a nice tang.

My fav Thai soup is Tom Kha Gai, (mainly chicken, coconut, lemongrass, lime and galangal), which can be made easily using the paste as stock.
posted by nickyskye at 1:01 PM on December 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Added some new tags to reflect the current discussion
posted by Deathalicious at 1:25 PM on December 26, 2006

This thanksgiving I was quite proud of using up all of my leftovers in one swoop.
1. Make stock as you normally would from the turkey carcass.
2. Make the stock into turkey stew by adding chopped turkey meat, onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme to the broth and simmering for 1/2 hr, then adding corn starch or flour to thicken.
3. Make mashed potato dumplings according to this recipe which make for a sort of soft, gnocci like dumpling.
4. Put stew and dumplings into a casserole, then add dallops of stuffing on top.
5. Bake in a 350F oven until stuffing is crusty and dumplings are cooked.

It almost makes me sad I made a brined, smoked turkey for Christmas which is too salty to make anything out of except for a pot of beans.
posted by TungstenChef at 2:44 PM on December 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Awesomely good post. I stumbled upon a recipe for roast potato soup the other day which will come in handy very shortly. Soup is a fantastic meal in itself - I recently knocked up a cauliflower and courgette (zucchini) soup that was rather tasty and a meal in itself.
posted by TheDonF at 4:24 PM on December 26, 2006

"I found a handful of ingredients really add a lot to even the cheapest commercial soup..."

...even that sketchy 79 cent/box store brand chicken noodle soup mix. Adding some paprika, cayenne and chopped celery (or carrots or onions) makes it more edible.

nickyskye, that ramen hack sounds delish, though.
posted by thisjax at 6:01 PM on December 26, 2006

I have to most fun with refrigerator soup -- looking through the fridge, seeing what you have, and throwing it in the pot. It's great for getting rid of vegetables that are just about to get too old. You can also use the last inch from the jar of tomato sauce, the vegetables you cooked yesterday, cooked rice or pasta, you name it. Condiments and salads not recommended.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:33 PM on December 26, 2006

I had a surplus of broth from roast chicken and turkey. No more room in the fridge. So I used it to cook rice. Best rice I ever ate. My (honorary) Jewish Gramma makes stock for matzoh ball soup with leftover chicken bones that she then roasts in the oven, and her soup is so good it has the power to make cranky people sing with joy.

The zero point veg soup is pretty good, and better if you add 1 or 2 potatoes and 1/2 pkg. lowfat turkey kielbasa.

Best soup ever was made from the turkey carcass stock, leftover mashed potatoes, creamed onions, broccolli, and some turkey. Since the amounts were pretty random, I'll never be able to replicate it.
posted by theora55 at 9:30 AM on December 27, 2006

And that's the beauty of turducken. Raw bones for stock, drippings for gravy, and leftovers for stew on top of 4 layers of carnivorey goodness!
posted by porpoise at 12:33 PM on December 27, 2006

carnivorey goodness
posted by soyjoy at 11:28 PM on December 27, 2006

There is a Spanish blog devoted to seafood soup recipies: Sopas de pescado y marisco.
posted by jlori at 2:05 AM on December 28, 2006

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