Isn't it funny how quickly the seasons can change in our great country? One minute you're wearing jean cut-offs frolicking through a field listening to Katy Perry in late August (No...? No one else does that?) and the next you're cuddled up on the couch in November putting the moves on a bottle of red wine. It always floors me how fast time goes by. As previously mentioned in my last recipe development piece, time travel hasn't been invented yet, so we'll just have to persevere...
Creating a simple soup from scratch is a no brainer. Toss some carrots, onion, celery, noodles and spices in a pot with chicken broth and there you have it. Not a lot of love, but your 'very own' Chicken Noodle Soup nonetheless. It's creating a one-of-a-kind soup that is unique to you that takes some thinking; not a tedious thought process, but a fun one. Trust me, I wouldn't cook all the time if I wasn't having fun.
For starters, I don't look much further than what's on my dinner plate when it comes to inspiration for creating a soup. What do you like to eat? No, what is your favourite thing to eat? (Savoury, obviously...sweet soups are like my sister: Weird.)
Maybe you love grilled salmon with roasted root vegetables topped with a creamy caper sauce, maybe someone out there really loves a spicy chicken quesadilla, perhaps it's just plain ol' spaghetti and meatballs. Whatever it is that you love, I want you to take a piece of paper and write down the ingredients that combine to make that delicious dish.
Now, look at your paper, stare at those ingredient names staring back at you and think: 'Now, how can I turn this into a soup?'
Could you transform the grilled salmon dish into a Creamy Potato and Smoked Salmon Soup finished with some fried capers and lemon zest?
What if the chicken quesadilla became chameleon-ed into a Jalapeno Tortilla Soup with chunks of roasted chicken, garnished with a dollop of sour cream? (Heck, maybe you could even add beer to it and get really crazy!)
Maybe a standard plate of spaghettit and meatballs becomes a Tomato Basil Bisque will mini-meatballs and orzo pasta?
Not that this should be a prime example, but I once made a soup inspired by dolmades. You know, those delicious little grape leave rolls you can buy at a shawarma restaurant. Weird? Yes. Delicious to me? You bet!
I'm challenging you to venture out into the soup unknown and create something unique with me. Now that the idea has been planted, feel assure of yourself, knowing that you already have a base, whether that is home-made broth or boillon cubes, that choice is up to you! 🙂
Let me know how it goes!
Recipe Development 101: Calling a Pot of Soup Your Own was written and photographed by food writer and columnist, Dan Clapson, based out of Calgary, Alberta. In addition to writing for Avenue Magazine and Food Network Canada, he blogs about his culinary adventures at www.dansgoodside.com. When he’s not eating, he can be found teaching university students how to cook through his non-for-profit cooking program, Start From Scratch. He likes to eat pickles out of the jar. Twitter: @dansgoodside