Monday, August 12, 2013


Soup has been the sumptuous fare of kings and noblemen and the meager rations of a peasant. It truly is a universal food. Soups come in many varieties depending on what region you live in or what you happen to have in the cupboard or on hand at the time. Anyone can make a soup. It is one of the very few foods that you don't need a recipe for.

I love homemade soup. There is just something so good about the combination of flavours between the meat and the vegetables and that wonderful warm feeling in your belly that you get when you've had a bowl. I've made a lot of soups since I've been married. We had a soup kitchen ministry when we were first married and spent every weekend making soups and feeding people. Our kids grew up on my soups and my husband loves soup to the point that he will often have a bowl as a snack if we are having something else for a meal.

Soup is a great way to sneak extra vitamins into your diet. My husband has a gluten intolerance so I try to build up his iron by adding lentils and beans to my soups both foods that we normally don't eat on their own. They just boost the flavour so much more than a soup without them.  My Dad is a great soup maker and makes a wonderful split pea soup. Mom and Dad would often help us in our soup kitchen ministry on the weekends and every once in awhile Dad would make his pea soup. It was always a hit.

When our kids were small they were invited to a friend's house. When lunch time came they were served canned soup and sandwiches, a perfectly good meal, but they didn't enjoy the soup. It was the first time they had ever eaten it and they were so accustomed to having homemade soup that they didn't like the canned variety.

Last night we invited friends over for an after church snack. It certainly wasn't a fancy meal, just homemade vegetable beef soup, bread, blueberry cake and tomato soup cake, but we had a nice time together. So many people don't entertain any more because they think they have to serve something fancy, but I think gathering around the kitchen table with a good homemade soup and good friends to share it with is probably one of the best things in life. We're blessed to have good food and good friends.

Soup may not seem like a very important subject to write about but when you're hungry a good bowl of soup is just what you need. In Genesis 25 we read about Jacob and Esau and how their lives were changed by a bowl of soup. Esau had just returned from an unsuccessful hunting trip and he was famished. Jacob had made a big pot of homemade soup and it smelled wonderful. He asked his brother for a bowl of soup and Jacob told him he would gladly feed him in exchange for his birthright, in other words, for his position as eldest in the family. Esau agreed to the terms and because of a bowl of soup changed his history.

Soup is probably one of the oldest meals in history. Many people have told me that they grew up eating homemade soups and stews (which are just thickened soups), but they got away from carrying on the tradition of making soups. A soup is a simple thing. Usually, if we've had a roast for Sunday dinner, instead of putting the leftovers in the fridge I'll just throw everything into a big pot and let it simmer while I wash up the dishes. By the time I'm finished the soup is done and we have a good, quick and easy meal to reheat when we need to.

If you've never tried to make homemade soup before, you should give it a try now. The one main rule of thumb I would give you is don't hold back. Throw everything in the pot and let it simmer. It will all taste wonderful.

There are many 'recipes' for making soup but this is how I made my soup that I shared with friends on Sunday night:

Into a large pot place the following:
left over roast beef, left over potatoes cubed, beef broth from the slow cooker, left over vegetables (I had carrots, peas, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans), 1 large can of tomatoes, 1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup mix, 1 can lentils, 1 can of baked beans in tomato sauce and approx. 4 cups of water. I let everything come to a boil and then let it simmer for approx. 20 minutes. Cool it on the back of the stove until you can put your finger in the soup and hold it there. Refrigerate and enjoy. You may not change history with your bowl of soup like Jacob did but you will bless your friends and family if you share it with them. God bless.

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