soup n’ such: matzo ball chicken soup

After living with Cornelius for a few months (and after dating & cooking for him for at least a year before) he told me, with a full bowl of soup in front of him, that he doesn’t really care for soup. I was shocked! Who doesn’t care for soup (homemade, even), is there even such a thing?

I grew up on the stuff. My mother made vichyssoise almost every sunday in the winter and a cold buttermilk borscht in the summers. She made her own stock from scratch and I was eager to try every new recipe she discovered — blended, creamed, chunky, hot or cold — and loved eating the leftovers. I was a soup fanatic! When I moved out on my own, I found that making soups were not only cheap but healthy too. I was a vegetarian back then and used vegetable broth cubes when I had them and made my own vegetable stock when I didn’t. Soups were a standard in my weekly repertoire and I didn’t think twice to serve it to friends and roommates. So it was quite a shock when Cornelius told me that he didn’t really like eating soup all that often.

There is one exception with Cornelius: matzo ball chicken soup. I made it for him before we moved in together and he declared it his favorite soup ever (little did I know then, that it was his only favorite!). On Sunday, I had made a roast chicken out of a great tasting free-range bird and on Tuesday night, I boiled up the carcass, the left over meat and some vegetables (including the lemons that I had stuffed into the cavity of the chicken) and made some homemade stock. As the soup was to be dinner, I didn’t have time to really let the stock simmer and flavour, so I cheated and added a bullion cube (a beef cube, at that!). I made matzo balls according to the directions on the package and added them to the strained, slowly simmering stock — I also added some left over rutabaga that I had left over (also from Sunday’s dinner). After 20 minutes, the matzo balls grew in size and the soup was done. It was fantastic. Cornelius was happy and so was I.

I still make soup on a frequent basis. As long as I’m doing the majority (ie. ALL) of the cooking, it’s just going to be that way. Take it or leave it.

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