Here in Pennsylvania we got the news of 6 more weeks of winter. It’s time to stock up on soups! These are some of the best soup kitchen pantry must haves!
So that *&^%$#@! groundhog apparently saw its shadow which means it’s another weeks of winter here in the ‘Burgh. Now full disclosure I have zero actual faith in the accuracy of a rodent determining the weather here for the next 6 weeks. If that were the case why even have weather people right? Or more so, why have weather channels or applications? But for whatever reason, it’s a big deal. It’s cool; it’s another excuse to party…in the cold…in the winter…in a really small town.
That being said I’d say the ONLY good thing about another 6 weeks of winter means more soup. Oh sure I make soup all year round but in the winter I make it at least 2-3 times a week. Heck last week I made 24 quarts of soup for us…and it all went! Soup is comforting, homey and just relaxing.
For me growing up, soup was a meal. It wasn’t served as an appetizer or with something. Sometimes that’s all we had to eat. And folks it was damn delicious! Mom could make the most amazing meal out of nothing. We had meager items which meant Mom was resourceful and taught me some of my best lessons when it came to making stock.
Now I still make my own stock but what I’ve discovered is that there are some ingredients out there that, when you can’t use homemade stock, is honestly just as good as homemade. Sometimes, honestly if I want to give my stock a bit more depth I’ll add this to soup. So with that, here are some pantry ingredients that seriously escalate your soup bases!
Beef Stock – now the best beef stock comes from slow roasting the bones and then making your stock from that. However many of us don’t have the hours it takes to make it. And even with the pressure cooker, you still don’t get that roasted bone flavor that a true bone stock gives. Well this stuff from Knorr is AMAZING! It’s a great addition for beef soups and gravies. It’s rich, decadent and imparts such a great flavor!
Chicken Stock – Just like the beef stock, this chicken stock is UNBELIEVABLE! Now a killer chicken stock has zero fat in it but that rich flavor that you can only get from the bones, cooking the vegetables with the skin on (yes true chicken stock is made with a whole onion with the peel on!). Additionally this makes a great chicken gravy. I LOVE chicken gravy with mashed potatoes, corn and chopped chicken in a Comfort Bowl!
Bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, parsley, peppercorns, kosher salt and cheese cloth. Okay fine, cheese cloth isn’t exactly a pantry item but it helps when it comes to fishing out peppercorns.
Soup honestly guys doesn’t mean you need 873 ingredients to make something delicious. My Mom was living proof of that. Simple ingredients, treated with respect is all you need. Give me a whole onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, thyme, salt and peppercorns and I can make you some of the best soups you’ve ever had in your life.
Looking for soup recipes? Try one of these?
Dad’s Red Beef Soup – this is a perfect example of simple ingredients to make one amazing soup!