WHY NOT SOUP
The great thing about this soup is that you can add or subtract any ingredient. Just pick up whatever you think you would like to add, look it over, say “Why Not?” and throw it into the pot …or not. This is a really easy soup to make. Don't let the long list of directions scare you.
UTENSILS THAT YOU NEED:
1 large stock/soup pot with lid
1 frying pan
Measuring cup….or not
IMPORTANT NOTE! I DID NOT USE exact measurements as I was making this soup so please remember that the following measurements are only approximates.
INGREDIENTS THAT YOU NEED:
18 Cups of Water
¼ to ½ cup of powdered chicken soup base
½ of a 500 gram package of maple bacon roughly chopped into larger pieces*
Drippings from bacon**
1 Can drained sliced mushrooms
1 pk (284 ml) pkg frozen spinach
1+½ Cup frozen mixed veggies (I used a carrot/broccoli/cauliflower mix).
1 drained can of whole kernel corn (341 ml)
2 Cups coarsely chopped cabbage
1 Package of potato gnocchi (500 Gram pkg.)***
1 Cup of elbow macaroni ****
1-2 Cups of milk*****
4 – 5 Drops of Barbados Hot Pepper Sauce ******
3-4 really, really generous splashes of Soya Sauce.
Fresh Ground Pepper (or regular pepper) to taste.
WHAT TO DO:
Take a large stock/soup pot and fill with the water.
Add dried chicken soup base stock. Bring up to a boil.
Add spinach, gnocchi, corn, cabbage, soy sauce, pepper sauce.
Keep the stock at a boil until you get to the ◊“Cover & Simmer”◊ instructions.
Fry up bacon and throw into the pot.**
Add mushrooms to the bacon drippings, cover and sauté.
Once the mushrooms start to get really browned with the edges starting to get crispy but not burnt add to them and the bacon drippings to stock pot.
Use a spatula to make sure you get all the bacon drippings out of the frying pan and into the pot. ◊Cover pot and simmer.◊
Let it cook on medium at a hard simmer. Check it once in a while and stir. After about 45 minutes or so taste the soup. If it tastes bland or needs something add whatever spice you like.
I didn’t add salt, onion or garlic to my soup as I didn’t feel it needed it. However if you think it is necessary you can add some salt or dried minced onion or garlic or both. Or maybe add a bit more Soya sauce. Just keep tasting before adding more of any flavouring. You don’t want to overpower the taste of the veggies & bacon.
Add the pasta and stir.***
Turn down the heat to a slow simmer. Keep an eye on the pot and be sure to scrape the bottom often as the macaroni may stick. Once the macaroni is cooked to the a la dente stage (don’t overcook the pasta!) turn the pot to low. Immediately add freshly ground pepper (or shaker pepper) and stir.
Let this simmer to get blended in, for a few minutes. Slowly add the milk to the soup. I put in the first cup & then added more as I tasted until it was how I liked it. Turn off the heat.
Let the soup rest for a few minutes with the lid on. Give a final stir and serve.
***ON 2ND THOUGHT***
*Using regular smoked bacon will definitely change the taste of this soup. If you do use a smoked bacon try adding a bit of maple syrup to it as it is frying but watch that the syrup doesn’t burn! Do not use pancake syrup. It tastes nothing like real maple syrup!
**Fry up and add more bacon if you don’t think you have enough.
***If gnocchi is frozen, defrost before adding to the soup.
****Next time I make this soup I think I will use less macaroni or none at all and add some barley instead. I will also use only ¾ of a can of corn. I think I might also try sautéing some finely chopped onion in a small amount of butter in a separate pan from the bacon and adding it to the soup.
***** I used 1% milk because that’s what we drink
****** Hubby John read once, that a very minute amount of hot sauce added to anything you cook will bring out the flavor of whatever it is that you are cooking. I use it in almost all of the stews, soups, roasts & casseroles I cook. I only add a very tiny amount because I do not want to make the dish spicy flavored. Try it and see the difference it makes when you add it to your cooking.