Simple Soup Maker’s Kitchen

Let’s solve this mystery once and for all. Don’t let those gourmets fool you. It really doesn’t take a lot of fancy cookware or specialty items to make soup. In fact soup is ideal everyday fare, simple to make, and accessible to ANY budget. Have you ever heard of Stone Soup? It’s a wonderful story that tells how simple soup really is. In fact soup evolved as a catch-all for leftover bits of this and that. Now you can get pretty fancy if you want to with soup – but we’re going to stick to the simple stuff here – everyday fare for everyday folks.

Pots and Pans
You could get away with just one good sized soup pot (6-8 quart). Of course stainless steel is best or even cast iron will do. You want to stay away from pans containing aluminum or teflon as they’ve been associated with the development of Alzheimers and other brain disorders. I’d say the full extent of pots I use for soup includes a small pot (2 quart) for quick noodle soups or a roux, a medium pot 4 1/2 quart, and a large pot 6 quart – depending on who’s coming to dinner, how much my ingredients will swell, and if I’m cooking for a week or a day; a skillet for sautéing (but you could do it right in the pot and keep all the yummy flavors in one place).

A crock pot is great to have for those long winter days if you have to go to work or go ski or “board the rad pow”, and want to have a pot of soup when you get home. I’ve broken crock pots and readily picked up a new one at the thrift store! So budget shouldn’t be a limiting factor here…after all, it’s reuse before recycle, right?

Cutting Gear
Have you ever noticed, you can have a drawer full of knives, but you always grab that favorite one? All the years I’ve been food preparing and cooking (and it’s been many) I still have my favorite knife that has gone with me everywhere. You need something good to cut veggies without it being too much work. It may be a paring knife for you or something bigger. Just always be very careful and use a knife you’re comfortable with. I have one paring knife I like, on medium serrated, and a large that I adore (family heirloom) that I always have to watch my fingers with and pay attention, but I love how it cuts up my veggies for soup and salads.

Bottom line – use a knife you like, sharpen now and then, pay close attention when cutting!

Refrigerator – Produce
We are so lucky to have refrigeration, provides many options for keeping and enjoying a wide variety of produce. The baseline of my soups always begin with the many varieties of onions, potatoes, garlic, ginger and carrots. Some of these may not need to be refrigerated based on your climate and home temperature. See how they are stored at the market and do something similar.

Among the greens I always bring home cilantro, parsley and spinach; I love having them in something every day. Beyond these basics you can get into the fancier veggies such as mushrooms, kale, collards, squash, cabbages (several kinds), tomatoes, parsnips, turnips, beets…and more…

Pantry – Grains, Beans, Pasta, Herbs, Oil, Spices
In your pantry keep a supply of the Super Immunity herbs and spices you like best. I order mine by the pound through my local co-op – you’ll have to figure out your best resources and use those. Most health food stores have a good bulk herb and spices section (fresher and better on cost/environment than small jars).

Get yourself a supply of beans and grains you like. Rice, quinoa and amaranth are some of my favorite grains to add to soup. I’ve found most dry beans even at the supermarket will sprout when soaked, so you can use those, or go to the natural food store and get organic (better for you and the Earth). Lentils, black beans (same benefits as red wine), and pintos are some of our favorites around here; we always soak at least 12 hours to start the sprouting process, drain the water (important), then add fresh water and cook 6-8 hrs to make a great soup, with greatly reduced digestive stress.

Keep some noodles in your pantry – rice noodles are a nice way to stay away from wheat which many people are allergic to (because there’s so much of it in our culture). But find whatever you like among the smaller sized pastas, and keep them around for quick soups. Even the ramen packets without msg, can be used as a base and add fresh veggies, for healthy ‘fast food’.

Olive oil and natural soy sauce will get you started on a good soup base and you can expand your seasonings from there as you learn about additional ingredients such as miso and Umeboshi plum vinegar.

Well, if you start out by stocking your kitchen as described above, you’ll be well-prepared to make yourself quite a few pots of soup. Now take action, keep learning, discover what you like, and feed yourself and those you love in a way that protects their health and immunity.

Leave a Comment