What do you get when you combine leftover black eyed peas from New Year’s Day with the remains of spaghetti sauce prepared with ground turkey and chunky vegetables? Just by adding some pasta with more water with an array of spices along with a bay leaf, you can concoct a delicious hearty soup, comparable to pasta fragioli or hearty vegetarian chili. Recently I made such a pot of vegetable soup, and it hit the spot and warmed my soul. The falling temperatures of the first days of New Year remind us that January is “Soup Month,” a most appropriate designation.
Considered one of the first “fast foods,” soup was sold by the ancient Greeks in the streets, using peas, beans and lentils as main ingredients, according to Gone-ta-Pott. Before there was soup, there was broth, which people used to pour over a piece of bread in a bowl. That bread was known as “sop,” from which the word soup is derived.
In the Middle East, “the sop”—had special significance, in that “to give sop,” is a gesture of respect and honor. Such a tradition is especially revealing when Jesus Christ offers “the sop” to Judas, who betrayed him.
When asking about soup preferences, an informal survey among co-workers and acquaintances revealed four places where one can find really "good soup” in the greater Columbus area.
One of the most popular places offering a variety of hearty soups is Panera Bread Company. Local college students across Columbus Metro area enjoy the French Onion, Broccoli Cheddar and other special daily selections which are served with freshly-baked bread or in a bread bowl upon request.
Another restaurant offering different soups every day of the week is Così. Among the signature Così soups are tomato basil Aurora, and Pollo e Pasta, chicken with Mediterrean vegetables & cous cous pasta, along with the new steak and cranberry chili, all of which are served with flatbread.
A third place where you can find highly recommended soup are local delicatessens, such as Katzinger’s in German Village which boasts of “homemade” chicken broth, served with noodles and homemade matzo balls, as well as “Seth’s Soup of the Day.” Accompanying the soups are the signature deli sandwiches described as “big” and “huge.”
4) Your own kitchen
The final place that serves what some describe as “the best soup in town” is your own kitchen. So many of those with whom I talked described the best home-made soup as coming from their own kitchens. With the advent of slow cookers and other devices, you find many individuals offering their own recipes for a wide range of soups from beef and chicken to strictly vegetarian soups and stews and chilis and chowders. As one who loves to cook, I know full well that soup is a hearty meal to make and to serve.
While soups as hearty meals are warm and satisfying to the body, what about food that is satisfying to the soul as well. The place where you can find sustenance for the soul is in the Word of God. Job recognizes the value of the Scriptures and comments, “I have esteemed your Word more than my necessary food.” The Psalmist offers this invitation: “Oh, taste and see, that the Lord is good.” Just like Campbell Soup, those who taste the goodness of God, say with satisfaction. . . “m-m-m good!”
For an array of delectable soup recipes and more, check out Examiner.com's Winter Cookbook.