16 December 2008

There is no substitute for homemade soup

Last week I officially hit the 17-week milestone in this pregnancy. For most pregnant ladies, that isn’t a big deal, but for me (in both of my previous pregnancies also) it is the lucky number when my sickness--for the most part—subsides, and my body allows me a couple of months of generally good eating and good sleeping until the third trimester when the heartburn and insomnia kick in.

So I’m trying to take advantage of it.

During those long weeks of constant nausea, occasionally I had an overwhelming desire to eat soup. It seemed like the only thing that would go down easily and be kind to my sad stomach. However, canned soup only did the job once or twice. I discovered that canned soup is kind of disgusting.

Oh how I wanted to just cook up a pot of some homemade chicken noodle, split pea, or bean soup, but most recipes have you start by sautéing an onion (otherwise it would be kind of flavorless) and the thought of handling, let alone SMELLING an onion sent me straight to the toilet.

So I went on a mission to find some non-canned soup that would taste like homemade. I was willing to pay big bucks, people. I searched delis, restaurants, and grocery store refrigerated sections. But many of the soups I encountered were a little too heavy on my still super-sensitive stomach, like tomato, southwest black bean, tortilla, and curried butternut squash.

Once I went to the soup bar at Fred Meyer’s deli. There was a chicken and wild rice soup that seemed bland and homemade and creamy and smelled pretty good bubbling away. I scooped myself a disposable cupful and paid the $3.00 they wanted. I took it to the car, had one bite and almost gagged. It was worse than canned.

What I finally discovered, after throwing away many more cups of random soup, is that there just aren’t any soups out there that even come close to homemade soup. Does that seem obvious? But see, I do think that some food items are better in restaurants than what you can make at home. Soup is not one of them.

Now that my body will allow me to again chop and sauté an onion, I’m busy making all the soups I’ve been missing so much. So if you, like me, are a soup lover, you’ll enjoy these next posts, where I’m going to share all the recipes of all the soups I love.

**A small disclaimer: my semi-sensitive stomach still won't allow me anything spicy, smoky, ethnic or tomato-based, so although I normally love soups like the ones mentioned above, the only recipes I'm making and sharing right now are creamy, chicken broth-based, and non-ethnic.

Eat up! And if you're in the soup mood, share your favorite recipes on your blog as well. The more the merrier.


Lizzy said...

You should have tried the dried onions you can buy from Costco. It's not exactly the same, but it's pretty close. But I'm glad you're feeling better and can now cook and -more importantly- eat!

Lis said...

On Top Chef this go around, there's one girl who made a lot of soup at the beginning and she said it's the mark of a good chef, and a lot harder than people think. Seems like you have discovered this.

Can you take the Winter Squash Soup from Bon Appétit that I made that one Thanksgiving?

Jen I said...

I love soup. I ate it ALL the time when I was pregnant. I had tomato soup or red pepper tomato soup from Trader Joe's with tons of cheese and crackers in it all the time until my heartburn got too bad. But I had to go with a lot of more ready-made or quickly made stuff too because by the time I made anything, I was so disgusted with it I couldn't eat it, just because I was so sick. So it had to be ready pronto before I developed an aversion. I'll be excited to try some of your recipes! The cheesy chicken chowder looks good. I just wish it got cold in Miami so I felt like soup more.