Sunday, August 15, 2010

Soup is Good Food, History and Hedgehogs

Campbells Soup got it right when they said, "Soup is good food."

Today, I cut up a chicken for oven fried chicken tonight and tossed the back and what was left of the wings into the soup pot for broth. I also added another chicken breast and thighs from another chicken and added celery, onions, carrots, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, bouquet garni and some salt and pepper.  Of course, I added water and let it simmer.

I started thinking as I was tossing in the leftover carcass that I should do this more rather than buy the organic/free range chicken broth at more than $3 a quart.  I mean, for darn near nothing, I get a couple of gallons of broth that I can cook with that costs just some containers and refrigeration/freezing.

This little guy was on the dinner menu thousands of years ago.
My husband, bless his heart, looked in the pot and frowned.  "It doesn't look appetizing, does it?" I asked.  He agreed it didn't.  And I started to think about how our ancestors figured out that if you boil something long enough that doesn't look that tasty ends up making something tasty.  At some point in prehistory, someone was cooking something in a pot and figured it out.  Maybe it was just a happy accident. 

According to the British newspaper, the Telegraph, soup and stews have been around a very long time.  Called pottage, it is a very thick soup or stew, which suggests that broth is probably older yet.  Other foods that have come from ancient times include pancakes and barley bread. But there are certainly odder foods like hedgehog and meat pudding, which just goes to show that our tastes have changed.


  1. I never could get the hang of liking soup. It just seems like ... weak tea, if you can pardon the pun. Stew I like, if it's thick enough (pottage, perhaps), but soups leave me in the cold.

  2. I hear you. I make broth to make some very thick soups that eat remarkably like stews. I figured making my own broth was very cost efficient since it costs me nearly nothing to make it from scratch.