Nourishing art of soup making inspires spontaneity, creativity

By Halcyon Orvendal

Sup season is upon us, and life is good. Although canned soup quells a hungry stomach, a simmering pot of soup made from scratch delights and satisfies. Making soup can be a lovely bonding experience with friends, a quick ego boost for new chefs and an easy way to feed a lot of people (or to have lots of easy leftovers).

Making soup need not be an extravagant cooking endeavor. It really is as easy as looking up a recipe, not following it too closely and taste testing it throughout. In fact, most soups begin with the same four ingredients: olive oil, garlic, onion and celery. It is good to mix in spices at this point and later on, adjusting each time you sip a spoonful of broth. Often, carrots and broth come next, followed by potatoes, protein and whatever else you feel like putting in your soup.

Soup ingredients are also relatively cheap, and generally on-hand. I don’t know if any of you Mossy Log readers ever read Stone Soup as a child, but it really is true that if you and some friends all bring together whatever meager ingredients you happen to have left in your kitchens, and throw it all in one pot, you’ll be sharing some delectable soup a few hours later.

To encourage soup-making among our community, we are providing some easy recipes, inspired by our own personal palates. Please, whatever you do, DO NOT follow the recipe closely. It will undoubtedly ruin the integrity of the artful form of soup making.

Our very true belief is that soup is made wonderful simply through vibes, not a recipe. We strongly encourage you to throw in whatever you have available to incite a fantastically flavorful and unique soup. There is no way to make a wrong soup, and nearly every culture in the world has some version of the staple meal.

Very generic and stereotypical soup
Olive oil
1 onion, any size

3-5 cloves of crushed or minced or chopped garlic

Some stalks of celery
2-3 long carrots
2-6 potatoes, depending on size Chicken, beef or veggie broth (enough to fill up the pot three quarters of the way)
1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (if you want)

Legumes if you want, any kind (lentils, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, black eyed peas, split peas, sweet peas, green beans)

Corn (optional)
Salt & pepper
Any combination of spices (oregano/ basil/thyme/sage, red pepper flakes for extra spice, a bay leaf if you want to feel fancy)

Step 1: Sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil for a few minutes or until they smell good.

Step 2: Add some chopped celery and carrots, and then a bunch of spices. Mix it all together. Let cook for 5-10 minutes.

Step 3: Add broth, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, and whatever else you want. Bring to a rolling boil and then turn down the heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until you think it is ready. Maybe taste test and add more spices.

Step 4: Impatiently wait for the soup smell to spread throughout the kitchen, taste testing incessantly until you deem it ready for consumption.

Step 5: Eat soup to your heart’s content. Ideally with grilled cheese. Chicken and wild rice soup
Olive oil or butter

1 onion, any size
3-5 cloves of crushed or minced or

chopped garlic Some stalks of celery

2-3 long carrots
2 chicken breasts
Chicken stock
Flour (optional, for thickness)
1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained Mushrooms

Salt & pepper
Spices (rosemary, bay leaves, whatever other miscellaneous spices you think would taste good in this soup)

Step 1: Sauté onion in olive oil for a few minutes or until it smells good. Add the garlic, some chopped celery and carrots, and then maybe some salt and pepper. Mix it all together. Let cook for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat. Add optional flour here too.

Step 2: Add chicken breasts, wild rice, mushrooms, broth/stock and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir regularly so rice does not burn. Add more broth if rice soaks up a lot of it.

Step 3: Take chicken breasts out, shred with a fork and put back into soup. Step 4: Add milk, spinach, more

spices, and voila!
Step 5: Eat the delectable cozy fall

soup you just made.

Vegan lentil soup

1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 onion
1 stalk of celery
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 (or more if you’re a garlic girlie like me) cloves of garlic

Curry powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, thyme to taste (between 1 and

2 teaspoons of each) 1 cup of lentils, red or green

4 cups veggie broth

1 cup of collard greens
Step 1: Sauté chopped onion in olive oil, add garlic, celery and carrots until fragrant and then season with spices and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add in broth, lentils, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cook for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender without losing their shape.

Step 3(optional): blend 2 cups of the soup in a blender and add back to the rest of the soup once it is smooth and add in chopped greens.

Step 4: Toast a hearty piece of crusty bread, smother in butter and grate parmesan cheese all over that soup and dig in to that bad boy!
Creamy, cheesy vegetarian cauliflower soup

2 small heads of cauliflower
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups veggie stock
1 teaspoon dry mustard
A pinch of nutmeg
1.5 cups milk
2 cups coarsely shredded sharp cheddar Black pepper to taste

Step 1: Cut cauliflower into 1⁄2 inch florets, boil with slightly salted water until almost fork tender, 10-12 minutes, set aside.

Step 2: Melt butter, sauté onion and garlic until soft, 10 minutes.

Step 3: Add stock and spices, bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for about 30 minutes.

Step 4: Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add soup to a blender and blend until smooth and light, about 3 minutes. Do this in 2 cup increments so as to not overflow the blender.

Step 5: Transfer back to the pot, add in milk and stir well. Bring to a simmer and add back in the soft cauliflower. Mix in the majority of the cheese, leaving some to sprinkle on top.

Step 6: Enjoy this delicious wintry soup!

Step 7 (optional): Instead of leaving out the cauliflower when blending, consider adding it in to create a creamier, richer soup with less texture from the cauliflower.

We sincerely hope that students, after reading this article, feel less intimidated about making soup from scratch. We envision a world where students fearlessly undertake cooking endeavors and continually enjoy the satisfaction of a belly full of soup.

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