Nothing warms up the kitchen and adds aroma to the house like a pot of simmering soup. Beginning cooks and professional chefs alike can combine vegetables and basic spices along with a fish or meat of your choice to provide satisfying flavors.

Soups date back to thousands of years before Christ. Requiring less heat than frying or baking, boiling became a common form of cooking as soon as water-proof vessels existed, probably in the from of clay bowls. Early cooks discovered boiling all parts of the animal and vegetables in the same pot, created savory soup.

Condensed soup was invented in 1897 by a chemist at the Campbell’s Soup Company. Today, Campbell’s tomato, cream of mushroom and chicken noodle soups are the most popular. According to Campbell’s, Americans buy almost 2 billion cans of soup every year. On average, American consumers stock six cans Campbell’s soups in their pantries at all times.

In the 1990s, Campbell’s and other commercial soup producers, began making ready-to-eat soups that can be heated on the stove or in the microwave without liquids being added.

While most of us find these soups tasty, there is no substitute for a homemade pot.

Stock is the starting point to soup. Stock is made by simmering bones, left over pieces of meat and vegetables, and a variety of spices for several hours. Remove the solid pieces and you have your stock. Stocks can be frozen and stored indefinitely. One suggestion is to freeze stock in ice cube trays then transfer the cubes to freezer bags. You now have premeasured amounts of stock.

If making stock seems too time consuming, try using a couple cans of condensed soup as your stock.

Once you have your stock, choose a meat or fish to add to the pot. Typically you add chicken to a chicken stock or beef to beef stock but there is no right or wrong when in comes to soup — tasty soups can be made when mixing meats.

Choose your vegetables and dice them into medium pieces. Saute the veggies in olive oil or butter, then add them to the pot. Spice up your soup by adding celery seed, marjoram, thyme, parsley or sage to chicken. Beef soups will benefit from marjoram, rosemary and thyme. Try adding a little wine to enhance the flavor.

Be creative and use your taste buds!

Some people are intimidated by not having a recipe to follow.  For those of you feel that way, check out these recipes Serendipity found for you.

Country Living soup recipes

Epicurious soup recipes

Always remember Serendipity can do the cooking for you. Whether it is soup as a course to a fuller meal or soup as the main course, Serendipity will stir up a soup you will savor.

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