"Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish."~
"One whiff of a savory aromatic soup and appetites come to attention. The steaming fragrance of a tempting soup is a prelude to the goodness to come. An inspired soup puts family and guests in a receptive mood for enjoying the rest of the menu."
"Soup is cuisine's kindest course. It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o'clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour."
"Soup is the song of the hearth... and the home."
"There is nothing like a plate or a bowl of hot soup, it's wisp of aromatic steam making the nostrils quiver with anticipation, to dispel the depressing effects of a grueling day at the office or the shop, rain or snow in the streets, or bad news in the papers."
~Louis P. De Gouy, The Soup Book
"Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don't catch steak hanging around when you're poor and sick, do you?"
~Judith Martin (Miss Manners)
Tuesdays are probably the busiest days in our home. Yesterday afternoon brought two haircuts, a quick stop at the grocery store, basketball practice, violin lesson, and a planned meeting that was scheduled for after dinner. It's nice to start a pot late in the afternoon to let simmer away quietly until we can gather at the table when dinnertime comes.
Our rhythm of Tuesday soup night stands throughout most of the year, except when we're in the heat of the summer. I usually look through the fridge for things that need to be used up, thinking all the while of what sounds good and what I'm in the mood for, and then go from there.
Since I had a bunch of mushrooms that were beautiful and saw a recipe in a cookbook I got at the library that sounded appealing, I decided to go for a mushroom-barley soup. Then, I sadly realized that I was out of barley. I had some buckwheat and decided that it might make a good substitution. I'd never used buckwheat this way.
Any cooked grain would work, really. I sauteed some onion and celery with a couple bay leaves. Added a couple of minced garlic cloves and a bunch of mushrooms that were finely chopped in the food processor. Then, two quarts of water were added, salt and pepper, and an optional scoop of beef bouillon. In another pan, I sauteed some more thinly sliced mushrooms in olive oil and these and the cooked buckwheat and a little sprinkling of parsley were added at the end. A little cream stirred in, as well, might be a nice addition, too.
It was surprising that everyone gave this soup a thumbs up. I knew I would love it.
Comforting and delicious.
Can't get any better than that.