Lee of Simply Lee writes:
Dear Soup Lady, Recently while browsing through one of my favorite recipe books I ran across a little tidbit of soup history I thought you might find interesting. The following excerpt was taken from page 395 of the Betty Crocker New Picture Cook Book published in 1961:
” ‘Soup of the evening, beautiful soup!’ wrote Louis Carroll. In fact, ‘la soupe’ has been the name of the evening meal in parts of rural France for hundreds of years – and the name of our evening meal, supper, is derived from it. Even today these French folk are dipping their spoons into steaming bowls of ‘pot au feu.’ This soup, in which the French housewife uses meat bones, vegetable tag ends and herbs, is always cooking slowly at the back of the stove and flavors blend while the soup smiles and chuckles but never laughs in a full rollicking boil.
Another present-day word which is a part of the fascinating history of soup is ‘restaurant.’ A popular soup of the 16th century was called ‘restaurant’ because it was believed to have ‘restorative’ powers. A chef printed the name over his door to announce that he was serving it, and in time, restaurant came to mean a place where all foods are served.
Nations have become known for distinctive soups: Italy for Minestrone, Russia for Borsch, France for Onion Soup and Bouillabaisse, China for Bird’s Nest Soup and the East Indies for Mulligatawny. Here in the United States regional soups are proudly acclaimed: chowders from the East, gumbos from the South, hearty vegetable soups from the Midwest and fish stews from the West coast. “
As one can easily tell from the above passages, soup has long played an important role during meal times across the world, and it may well be one of the most common traditions shared among nations. Another common tradition, at least in my neck of woods, is chicken soup. During the cold winter months there is nothing better or more “restorative” to be found on the table, and I thought it only fitting that I should include a recipe for this old favorite from the above mentioned book. Also please note that turkey can easily be substituted for the chicken and one might find it to be an appealing way to recycle those upcoming holiday leftovers. Hope you have an opportunity to enjoy it over the coming weeks!
Sincerely, Lee of SimplyLee
Chicken (or Turkey) Soup
2 cups cubed cooked turkey or chicken (1″ cubes)
turkey or chicken carcass
1 cup chopped celery (several stalks)
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
Remove meat from carcass of turkey and set aside. Crack bones and place in kettle. Add skin, bouquet garni (peppercorns, bay leaf and cloves in cheesecloth bag) Cover with water. Simmer 2 hr. Cool slightly. Remove bones and bouquet garni by straining. Add meat and vegetables to stock. Chill. Skim off fat. Add salt to taste. Simmer until hot.