There’s something so simple and comforting about soup. No matter what time of year, it just seems to warm your soul. My mom’s soup was magical. I say was, but really it lives on even now after she has passed. We find ourselves missing her so much, but able to keep her memories strong and alive through some of the dishes that she cooked.
First of all, we call it Homemade Soup. My oldest son in law joked about the fact that we call it this because isn’t all soup that you make from scratch and at-home called…Homemade Soup? Ha! Of course, but this was what we have always known as our family recipe for homemade soup. He quickly jumped on the bandwagon once he tasted it.
My mom, or as my kids and their cousins called her, Nanny made this soup almost every time we were all together. As the family started to grow, the pot she used got bigger, but the recipe remained the same. I promise I will share the ins and outs of this magical soup soon. I just wanted to lay the foundation for just how special this soup is.
This soup could really cure any ailment. The common cold, tummy ache, and even a broken heart. It has also been a soup of celebration. With our family gathering around a big pot of it at many holidays and birthdays. We cannot possibly have it without thinking of Nanny. For this very reason, after her passing in June, one of my kids texted on our family group message a request for us all to get together and make a big pot of homemade soup. This was an absolute YES. We immediately reached out to the whole family and in no time we had over 20 people piled into my house. We reminisced over all of the memories and of course, enjoyed some homemade soup.
Ready for the secret? It’s actually quite a simple soup. Starts out by making the stock. This stock is made from sweating some garlic and onions and adding in a whole chicken(chopped up), salt, pepper, and water. Our recipe for this is not an exact science, it’s just a good-old-fashioned grandma recipe. To the stock and cooked chicken, you add in a bunch of great vegetables. 2 peeled/chopped potatoes, 4 diced large carrots, and 25 fresh green beans cut in half. Add some soy sauce to give it a savory taste. We have even jazzed it up from time to time by adding regular cabbage, squash, chayote, ginger, or napa cabbage. But we always add the Bok Choy leaves at the end of the cooking process. Depending on how tender you want the vegetables, your cooking time could vary. I would say it never cooks longer than about 45 minutes for us.
You must serve this soup with a pot of white rice to go with it. Everyone in our family has a different way of eating this soup. Some add the rice into their bowl of soup. Other have the rice with broth and eat the vegetables on the side. Most of them eat this soup with a little dish of soy sauce on the side for dipping the vegetables and meat into. It’s been like that since they were all little kids and now they are all grown adults. Most all of them now make this soup for their families and Nanny would be so proud that this tradition will live on forever.
In loving memory of “Nanny” June 1941-June 2018