The world, as we know it, has plunged into a frozen wasteland. Here: I have created a handy weather report graphic for you.
Nothing can save us now from this arctic hellscape – except the warm, loving arms of soup. Yes, soup. Soup is: a. warm or even hot b. comforting c. easy to make a lot of so you only really need to make the effort once and get like five meals out of the deal as you huddle and wait for the sweet release of becoming a human popsicle.
It was just new years, right? You might have had a resolution or two? Cool, cool. Was one of them learning how to cook? I have NEWS, friend. Soups are a GREAT way to learn how to cook. It’s what I started out doing. I’m a strong advocate for soups for newbie cooks. You get to try out a couple different things, see what spices and herbs can do, and build up your skills. The first year my husband and I were living together we probably ate soup a good third of the time.
This was my first soup.
That’s it. You make the can of cream of chicken soup according to the directions, then dump in the veggies. Not the whole bag, maybe half. Once the veggies have thawed, you have soup. But then you can build on that. Maybe next time you want something starchy. So you make biscuits from a can. Make this soup. Put a baked biscuit on top. You just made pot pie soup.
But it can go on from there. Next time, maybe you add some onions. Dice them up, cook them in some butter or oil in the bottom of your pot until they’re soft. Then add the can of soup and veggies. Then experiment. Do I like thyme? Thyme goes really well with chicken. You might like to add a little to this soup. Maybe you have fresh veggies. Maybe you want to learn how to skip the can and make your own cream of soup from scratch.
This is such an easy way to get started. And cheap! If you screw it up you have three options.
- Eat it anyway. This option requires salt, probably.
- Throw it away. You’re out your time and maybe two bucks.
- This is probably my favorite option: add shredded cheese.
Cheese can save just about any soup. Just this Monday I made this Carrot, Potato, and Leek soup. I’ll tell you what: it was a damn bore. Pretty bland. Last night, in an attempt to save it (being as I had made like a half gallon of the stuff), I shredded cheddar cheese over it. Not a ridiculous amount. But enough that the soup was now kind of like a loaded baked potato situation and pretty tasty. SOUP = SAVED.
You can also freeze soup! So when you’re feeling lazy, instead of pizza again, you can just pull out a container of soup. I invested in a bunch of those Ziplock containers with the twisty top. Great for emergency soup supply. Also, fun fact, YOU CAN FREEZE CHEESE. Not all cheeses, but your basic shredded cheddar and the like? Yup. Cheese is magical.
There are all kinds of soups that are not hard to make that you can try out. Here’s a few of my favorites. I just looked and I have like 120+ recipes bookmarked. I might have a soup problem.
- Tomato Soup from i am baker – My hands down go to tomato soup. It is easy, fast, and it tastes better than tomato soup from a can. It is not quite as easy as the two step soup above, but it’s not that complicated.
- Chicken Tortilla Soup from Nutritious Eats – This is a similar ‘throw things in pot – wait – SOUP!’ I recommend using the Rotel with chiles because I feel like this mexican style soup needs a little heat. I’m not saying this soup has literally cured me of a bad cold, but it seemed to get a lot better once I started eating it.
- Cheesy Broccoli and Potato Soup from Handful of Raspberries – Here’s a creamy soup that is comforting. Instead of celery I tend to dice up the stalks from the broccoli. That’s a nice thing about soup – if you don’t like something, you can just substitute it.
- Italian Wedding Soup from Giada De Laurentiis – This is only complicated because there is an odd ingredient (curly endive, which if you can’t find it at Meijer or Walmart, just use spinach) and meatballs you make by hand, but it will be WELL worth the effort.
- French Onion Soup from Sweet Potato Chronicles – A lot of recipes for french onion soup get really complicated. This one isn’t. The only suggestion I might have is backing off on the balsamic vinegar, especially if you haven’t cooked with it before. Cooking isn’t like baking. Things don’t have to be measured exactly like your recipe says for it to work.
Now some of these recipes have some advanced skills in them, but fret not! It’s just like learning anything else. You build on what you know with new skills. And all of these can be modified with more cheese. You got this. Feel free to comment if you want help getting your soup on. We are here for you. (The ‘we’ in this case is me and soup.) (Ooo. If I ever make that Learn to Cook with Soup book, maybe that’s the name.) (No, maybe ‘Soup to what’s?’ Ugh that doesn’t even make sense.)