Saturday, January 3, 2015

Soup's Off!

I should feel lucky. It's January and my area is being threatened with freezing rain rather than several inches of snow. Whoopee. It's better than last year's worries about frostbite and frozen pipes, so I guess there's that.

On this blustery winter weekend, my thoughts return to soup. Let's see what The Complete Family Cook Book (edited by Jane Byrne and Michelle Duggan, 1969) has to say about the subject.

First up is that old favorite, chicken noodle soup:

I love this because it starts with a can of chicken noodle soup! So you could make that can stretch by adding all these other ingredients (more canned soup, canned cream-style corn, milk, cream, and seasonings), or you could just open a couple extra cans of chicken noodle soup. Either way, you will miss out on one of the best reasons to make homemade chicken noodle soup: noodles that aren't waterlogged into oblivion.

The editors firmly believe that starting with canned soup is the way to make "homemade" soup, though. The title of this next recipe doesn't even hint that it's based on canned cream of chicken soup:

The canned soup is just a background player for lima beans and clams--making this soup another strong contender for the anti-Reese's cup award (two bad tastes that are worse together).

To be fair, though, not all of the recipes start with canned soup. How about this one?

Puree two cans of kidney beans and add a quart of tomato juice. Lovely, I'm sure. (I keep imagining this one tastes like salty wallpaper paste with onions. I can't get past two cans of pureed kidney beans.)

I guess it would be fair to say I find something fishy about these soup recipes.

Uhh... You do know that "fishy" is not usually a compliment, right?

(I do love the avocado green illustration, though!)

As I neared the end of the chapter, I thought I spied a dessert soup. Many people aren't familiar with these, maybe because so many of the dessert soups would be served as smoothies today. They were usually served chilled as a refreshing course in the summer, made with dairy and pureed fruit garnished with some whipped cream and maybe a sprig of mint and/or some candied flowers. So when I saw this title, I thought it would transport my mind to warmer weather:


This is definitely NOT a refreshing summer soup, though! It's melon balls boiled with pork and water chestnuts. Let that sink in for a minute: melon balls boiled with pork and water chestnuts. Yeah.

At least that's not something you can buy in a can. (Campbell's Melon Ball and Pork Soup. It's Mmm Mmm Gross!)


  1. I have no words! Best post ever, Poppy :-)

    1. It's probably best not to open your mouth when there's melon ball and pork soup around!

  2. Now I know the reason why, oh why January is National Soup Month!!! (I haven't figured out how to include the monthly celebrations on the calendar, yet:)

    Sorry Poppy, not one of these soup will do even if the weather is, let's say, milder than last year's frozen never ending Winter. Although, I might be able to make due with the KIdney Bean Soup, NOPE! No can do but, thanks for sharing...

    1. It's safe to say that none of these soups would show up in my imaginary soup-and-bread restaurant, either!

    2. I'm so glad to hear that Poppy. It actually never occurred to me that they would, lol...