“Only the pure of heart can make good soup” Beethoven
So the late Paul Newman had a personal motto that you should always make a bowl of soup for a friend. A hearty and humble aim for such a man and one that makes much of sense on many levels. There’s an old saying that soup and stories should both be readily shared and the age-old story of Stone Soup springs to mind, where a stranger unites a village experiencing a famine and gets them laughing, singing and eating lashings of hot soup from the few ingredients they each had.
For soup will have been made since man first had fire and is said to be more powerful than medicine at healing and helping from colds through to cancer. Soups can hide all manner of healthy ingredients from unsuspecting children’s eyes and can be turned into pasta sauces or frozen at the drop of a proverbial hat…
In these uncertain financial times we’d be as well to remember some of the culinary arts of both our pre- and post-war ancestors, of using scraps and stored vegetables, of using wild foods and foods we’ve grown, combining them in ways to make hearty, nourishing, seasonal, healthy and inexpensive fare.
Try making courgette, red lentil, coriander and coconut milk soup or fennel and puy lentil. The secret, they say, is in using herbs where you can and getting the best quality stock, preferably homemade, that you can lay your hands on. Soups should generally have some carbs at their core such as lentils, potatoes, rice or even bread.
So find a friend and make him or her some soup this week!