Let Soup Warm You this Winter

English: cream mushroom soup

Cream mushroom soup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Soup has been around about as long as people have used pots to cook their food.  As anyone who has ever lived on a small food budget can attest, soup can make a little food go a long way.  When it comes to stretching your food dollar, soups and stews are one of the most effective ways to do more with less.  For our ancestors, being able to create a warm, filling, easily digestible meal from whatever ingredients were available was often the key to survival.  So in some ways, we owe who we are today to soup.

In honor of National Soup Month, here are some interesting facts and fabulous recipes to help you warm your winter, stretch your food dollar, and fill your plate….well, bowl.

Fun Facts

  • Americans love their soup and consume more than 10 billion bowls of it each year.
  • Andy Warhol, famous painter and creator of the Campbell’s Soup Can painting, had soup for lunch every day for more than 20 years.
  • Almost every household in America buys soup at some point during the year.
  • Frank Sinatra was a fan of Chicken and Rice soup and asked that a bowl of it be brought to him before every show.
  • Women are twice as likely to sip soup for a meal as men.
  • In 2010, archeologists in China found a 2,400 year old cauldron of soup – that still contained liquid soup.
  • If you are in Nebraska, you may want to order a little soup with your beer as bar owners cannot sell beer unless there is soup cooking.
  • Most American households have six cans of soup on hand at all times.
  • Soup isn’t just for sipping.  Some of the most loved recipes in the world call for soup on their list of ingredients like Green Bean Casserole which is made with Cream of Mushroom Soup.
  • In many countries, soup is also eaten for breakfast.  Japanese families eat miso soup to start their day while left over soup is a common breakfast for Europeans.
  • The pairing of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches got its unofficial start during World War II because it was an inexpensive way to meet the required nutritional value for a government meal.

Regional Flavors

There is no limit to the different kinds of soup you can make.  The only boundaries are the ingredients you have on hand and your imagination.  This is one reason there are so many soups associated with the different regions of the world.  Before society could move massive quantities of food from one side of the world to another, people used what grew locally to create their recipes.

When you think of Italian food, soups featuring classic Italian flavors like Minestrone come to mind.  Here in the Southwest, we combine traditional soups with local flavors to create soups that are all our own like Comforting Corn Chowder which marries traditional corn chowder with green chilies and cayenne pepper.

Great Recipes

Looking to add a little something to your soup repertoire?  Here are just a few of the delicious recipes available in the recipe section of Fill Your Plate.  For more ideas, click the “Recipes” button on the home page and the “Soups” link under Popular Categories. If you have a favorite soup or stew you love to make, we would love to know! Please share it with us!

Italian Cupboard Soup– pork, tomatoes, beans.

Albondigas Meatball Soup– beef, rice, potatoes, variety of vegetables

Carrot Ginger Soup– carrots, ginger, onions

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup– chicken, rice, variety of vegetables

Spicy Ham and Black Bean Soup– ham, beans, salsa, green onions

Chilled Potato, Leek, and Beet Soup– potatoes, leeks, beets, chicken broth

Ranch Soup– beef, beans, chilies, tomatoes

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