Did you know it's National Homemade Soup Day? I'm sure with the freezing temperatures many of you are experiencing, soup sounds pretty good! It just doesn't get any better on cold days than a nice hot bowl of soup and chunk of homemade bread.
cold cucumber soup and basil garlic bread for supper.
For lunch I finally got around to trying a recipe I pinned quite some time ago: roasted asparagus and caramelized mushroom quesadillas. They were soooo good that I just switched the link from "recipes to try" to "favorite recipes". I did make some alterations though. Since I didn't particularly want an overtly Mexican flavor, I omitted the cumin and chili powder. In fact, the only seasonings were salt and freshly cracked pepper, along with the basil-infused olive oil that I used for both roasting the asparagus and sautéing the onions and mushrooms. Not having easy access to either goat or Monterey Jack cheese I substituted a mixture of grated reggianito and thin slices of queso cremoso (not sure what the equivalent is in the states, but Ivan says it's the same as quartirolo cheese in Italy). And since I didn't have the ingredients on hand to make any kind of salsa to go with, we simply ate the quesadillas with dollops of homemade plain yogurt.
Just curious as to how many actually make homemade soups? I grew up on Campbell's canned soups; not sure I had homemade until I was well into my 20s. My mom, who worked most of her life as a waitress, really didn't like to cook so we ate a lot of canned, boxed and frozen foods. When the saying "Dinner is ready when the smoke alarm goes off" first came out, we had a good laugh because that described a lot of the meals mom made. She didn't have a sense of smell, and would get sidetracked doing something else and forget about whatever was on (or in) the stove until the smoke alerted her. I'm not sure how many pans she ruined over the years!
But after getting married and having a very small grocery budget, I soon learned not only the economical benefits of homemade soup, but also the flavor benefits. Once you've had homemade tomato soup, can you ever go back to the canned stuff?! There is simply no comparison. Although I still nostalgically like to have Campbell's tomato soup and grilled cheese made with Velveeta every few years :)
My hands-down favorite soup of all time, though, is a simple chicken tortilla soup topped with whatever I might have on hand: chopped avocado, fresh cilantro, grated parmesan... and, of course, lots of crunchy tortilla chips. Which I prefer to add a few at a time, so they don't get too soggy. And this is one hot soup I could eat even in hot weather; I'm that fond of it.
I'm curious: What's your favorite? Are you making any soup today? What kind? And one final question: are you a crackers- or bread-with-soup kinda person?