Soup Season

This year the first days of fall were ridiculously hot but now with these tropical storms coming through the weather has turned cool & rainy!  At first the weather was getting me down because it’s been interrupting my marathon training – for once I’m itching to go out for a run when I usually dread it!  Then I thought wait a minute, the weather is cold and yucky which means that it’s a perfect day for something yummy!  That something yummy is nothing other than SOUP!  That’s right folks, now that it’s fall, we have officially entered SOUP SEASON!

I really do not care for Olive Garden or Panera that much, I only go to enjoy the company of good friends, not necessarily good food.  However, I do like the soup, salad & bread sticks at Olive Garden & the Pick 2 at Panera.  My favorite soup to get at a restaurant is Not Your Average Joe‘s Chicken Pepper Noodle!  Yet more than any restaurant soup I love a nice home cooked soup!  There’s something special about it – the way it cooks all day, simmering on the stove or in the crock-pot with love!

Nani (Judy – you should know this name by now from past blog posts) made the most delicious soup over Labor Day Weekend, it was a great way to kick off the unofficial start to fall!  It was so good that I woke up the next morning & debated having it for breakfast but I held off & had a couple helpings for lunch.

I’ve never entered a chili contest but my Lot-o-Bean’s Chili would probably win some sort of category!  It’s so good that I’ve received requests to make it when it’s not even Soup Season!  Last Soup Season I started experimenting with some other soups.  I had a few successful recipes and ONE HUGE FAILURE – I was so excited about this one soup, it had chicken broth & pieces of chicken, lots of vegetables such as celery, carrots, potatoes (ok I know it’s a starch but still) and by golly it smelled delicious as it was cooking.  Yet before we left for work I put in what I thought was going to be the “piece de resistance” – elbow noodles.  When we came home from work that day the house was filled with a delicious aroma – when I looked into the crock-pot it looked like mush!  I served it up in hopes that it didn’t taste as bad as it looked.  By golly it was the most disgusting thing I had ever made!  After a couple bites I quickly dropped my bowl down to Toby (our dog) and even he was disgusted with it!  Yet Troy ate his whole bowl, laughing while he ate about how much of a fool I was to put in the noodles at the beginning, and calling me “Betty Spaghetti” because I absolutely love noodles and try to incorporate them with every meal (side note: when Troy & I were apart for about 6 weeks in 2008 – because I was in the hospital, not for the whole 6 weeks but anyways…he told me that he didn’t eat pasta once while I was gone)…yet even after I told him he could dump it, he kept eating!  That’s when I knew that he would be fine in the Army.

To kick of the new Soup Season I attempted a similar soup as the one that was last years failure.  I did it a bit differently this time though.  I soaked some great northern white beans then I cut up some potatoes, celery, carrots, zucchini and yellow squash and finally I cooked up some chicken and cut that up as well.  I tossed it all into the crock-pot with some free range chicken broth from Trader Joe’s and let it simmer.  At first I wasn’t going to add any noodles but then Phia said that she wanted noodles so I cooked up some ditalini and kept it separate from the rest of the soup so as to not repeat last seasons mistake.  I topped it off with some parmesan cheese and by golly it was wicked yummy and warmed my soul!  It was just what I needed on this dreary day, it helped cure my blues from this ridiculously rainy week!

With a successful soup to kick off the new Soup Season I am psyched & ready to go, hopefully all rookie mistakes were made last season and I can move to being a seasoned pro!

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