A month ago, I graduated from the School of Canned Soup and took on the challenge of making homemade soup. Did I mention I’m a soup nut and that I eat it every single day? But until recently, I had never made my own soup. Not once. In the past month, I’ve tried two different soup recipes I found online. They were both incredible. Then last weekend, I was at the store and realized I’d forgotten to find another recipe and write down ingredients to purchase. I bought a box of chicken broth, a can of white beans, and a variety of vegetables and thought, how hard can it be?
What resulted was a soup so flavorless that the only thing with less flavor is a glass of water. I mean, it was pretty bad. Soup seemed so simple. I’ll tell you what I did, but you have to promise not to laugh. For the record, I was going for something on the “healthier” side.
-1 can white beans
-1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
-1 cup chopped carrot
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1 cup frozen green beans
-3/4 cup frozen corn
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 clove minced garlic
I sauteed the garlic, carrot, and onion in some olive oil for about five minutes. Then I added the rest of the ingredients and simmered for about 10-15 minutes. After I let it cool, I stuck it in the fridge so I could eat it throughout the week….and that was my first mistake. I didn’t do a taste test. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.
So, the soup didn’t taste bad per se, but it didn’t taste great. To be more precise, it didn’t taste like much of anything. At first it was a blow to my ego, but I know I’ve gotta learn. I read up on what makes a GOOD soup and I know what I’ll do differently next time. First, I’ll plan for more flavor. Salt, pepper, herbs, spices, more veggies (or different veggies), and whole grains. And if I’m going to make the effort to cook a more flavorful soup, why the hell wouldn’t I taste the darn thing as it cooks? (Seriously, what kind of a chef doesn’t jump at the chance to taste while they cook?) I also read that the quality of the chicken broth might have made a difference. Ask my fiance, I’m a tightwad; when I see a box of chicken broth that costs $4 sitting next to one that costs $1.50, there’s no argument as to which one I’ll buy. Unfortunately, I think I may need to give the $4 box a try next time. Most importantly, the next time I make up my own soup recipe, I need to think outside the box. The soup I made was nothing more than a glorified package of frozen mixed vegetables.
I think I’m going to stick to other people’s soup recipes for awhile. I obviously need to take some time to broaden my horizons.