If I were willing to buy them my husband would eat Campbell’s condensed soups every day for lunch during the fall and winter months. And probably a few times a week for dinner. The man loves condensed soup. If I plan to buy canned soup for any reason, he actually requests it.
“Don’t get the extra chunky stuff.” he’ll say, “Some of the regular stuff that I can add water to is just fine.”
Unfortunately for Campbell’s soup company I tend not to agree. No matter how badly I want to oblige I will stand befuddled in front of the canned soup section trying to choose even one can for what seems like an eternity. Always, I go home empty handed.
However resistant I am to purchase that which he requests, I do share his love for soup — just of a different, chunkier, less condensed type. As a matter of fact, about this time of year, when the walnut trees are half bare; the maples beginning to turn yellow; the fields a darker, duller shade of green, I am struck with a relentless craving for soup. Especially with sandwiches. And biscuits.
Manhattan Clam Chowder with cheddar biscuits; Chicken Noodle; Chunky Roasted Garlic Tomato with Grilled Cheese; French Onion; Ham and Bean. From mid-September thru late-April soups slowly make their way onto our menu and multiply until they’re gracing the table a few times each week. There is, after all, nothing more soul-mending, toe-warming, and body-healing than a hot bowl of soup and a warm blanket on a cold winter day.
No matter the best of intentions I have from the outset however, it never fails that life at least occasionally gets in the way of my soup making endeavors. I imagine it happens to us all, even the most dedicated of foodies — those I admire and adore.
I remember every day for a couple of weeks last year very distinctly. No matter how much I had wanted soup on those days, coming in from a twelve hour day, no less than three of it spent thigh high in snow doing chores, pretty much made cooking — at least until I could manage to thaw my fingers enough to hold a knife — out of the question. On those days soup mixes like those found both in local health and bulk food stores and on Etsy from sellers like Off the Farm and Country Girl Spices, whose dried pepper mix is pictured above, were a life saver.
Some mixes are complete, all you have to add is water — I suppose much like those condensed soups I so despise. Others require a little more preparation. Any variety, after a very long day, are better than the alternatives; chopping produce and preparing a soup by hand or settling on something commercial and canned.
Do you have a favorite dried soup mix? I’d love to broaden my horizons and stock-up on your favorites before the weather turns truly cold, not just sweatshirt-and-jeans chilly!