When I have the time, I can make fairly good split pea soup or lima bean soup, either with ham or sausage added. And a decent chicken noodle soup, made using left over chicken. Anything else is better if I just get it out of a can. And is certainly more time-efficient.
@moonhat No, I just follow the package instructions for cooking time and throw in whatever is handy, including celery, ham or sausage or any kind of pork meat I want to use up, and seasonings (some of sage, thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, whatever, few peppercorns, bay leaf or two, maybe a little cayenne powder, whatever hits my fancy at the time. Once in a while, a little chili powder. I prefer mine without onions or garlic, though I like those in other soups; that way I can give my dog a taste, which she always likes, when I haven’t overdone the peppers. I usually do not put in potato pieces, though a lot of people like it that way, unless I specifically have leftovers to use up. I wait until it’s done and in my bowl before adding sea salt or black pepper, maybe even a little garlic powder or salt, to my taste after sampling it. If the soup is really hot, and I’m in such a mood, I will add a little fresh milk to the bowl. Slightly different and richer, but IMHO, still a great taste.
When in the mood, I’ll also stir in some mushroom pieces (usually from a can of stems and pieces) plus half to a whole can or package of sauerkraut. My mother was Polish and this approximates an old family recipe (which I don’t have a copy of). It tastes better to me than it might sound. If you want to try this, go easy on these last two ingredients, until you develop a taste for it.
Rereading above, I noticed I left out listing CARROTS! I pretty much always put in carrots, either chopped, minced, grated, or sometimes even diced. These are an essential part of my split pea soup. (And if you read ingredients on prepared soups, carrots are a significant part of a lot of them.)
Whenever I prepare split pea soup, I try to make a big batch of it. Tastes as good or better after a day of refrigeration, especially if you like thicker soups. This will keep for several days under good refrigeration. Add water, at will, when reheating.
As long as I didn’t scorch it, I don’t think I have ever made any version of this soup that I didn’t enjoy immensely. And it is good value for the budget-minded. Remember, the bay leaf and the peppercorns aren’t meant to be eaten, but won’t hurt you if you do. The peppercorns are hard to find and take out, if you have cooked the soup long enough.
Let me know how you like it if you try it my way, especially the version with the mushrooms and sauerkraut.
I talked myself into it. I know what I’m having for supper, if I have time to make it. If not, I’ll open a can of it (I usually keep a few on hand for a quick meal) and fix the real thing this weekend. BTW, corn bread or muffins go great with this, especially when over-buttered.
@phendrick Damn, now I am seriously craving a big bowl of it too. I am going to try the mushroom addition, although I don’t know what I think about the sauerkraut. That might be too over the top for me but it sounds interesting. I’m putting this stuff on my grocery list right now. Thanks, phendy!
My wife makes pretty good soups, generally using the ‘leftovers’ from a rotisserie chicken, smoked turkey etc. Ingredients are subject to availability (pasta, rice, quinoa) or “need to use up stuff” (veggies getting long in the tooth etc). Of course, since it’s projected to still hit nearly 100 locally over the next few days those times will have to wait.
Same goes for chili…
@chienfou that is how I make my soups… my poor kids better never try to reproduce “mom’s chicken soup” recipe – it is really whatever is in the fridge that needs to be used up – same with my sausage and pasta.