February 4th is National Homemade Soup Day

January 31st, 2012 by Craig Mullins

Happy National Homemade Soup Day! It couldn’t happen at a better time of year.

Like so many of the other “national” holidays I’ve been sharing with you, National Homemade Soup Day is not actually on the books as an observed holiday, and has no documented origin. But that makes no difference. Any reason to eat soup is a good enough reason for me!

So how does one celebrate National Homemade Soup Day on February 4th? By making and eating homemade soup, of course!

While soup of any nature is by definition good, there’s something extra-special about homemade soup. So much time and energy goes into creating homemade soup that you can’t help but feel comforted and loved by it. And there’s nothing better than catching the warming smell of simmering soup as you pass through the house.

Beef, Barley and Mushroom Soup – Makes 5 to 6 Servings
Start the Night Before

Ingredients:
1 cup dried lima beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons pearl barley, soaked and drained
2 large onions, chopped
2 rib celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
8 cups water

Directions:
In a large soup pot, combine beans, barley, onions, celery, carrots, parsley, and water. Cover and cook over low heat about 2 ½ hours or until beans are tender. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. [Add more salt and pepper if desired.]

Serve with French or sourdough bread and a fresh salad to complete the meal.

National Homemade Soup Day falls on a Saturday this year, so if you’ve got plans to hit the town and live it up the night before, be sure to add this soup to your list. According to Hungarians, this soup will help cure a hangover – but the ingredient list and prep is fairly extensive, so be sure to do it before you start drinking. Better yet, make it a two-parter; completing the first half of the process the night before your hangover, and finishing it about 45 minutes before you want to eat it.

Hangover Soup – Makes 6 Servings
Start the Night Before

Ingredients:
4-5 pieces of thickly sliced bacon
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
½ cup orzo
2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
3 cups sauerkraut, drained, rinsed and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed ½ pound smoked sausage, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill weed or 1 teaspoon dried
½ cup sour cream
6 cups water

Directions:
Day 1 – Cut bacon into pieces, sauté until crisp, drain and reserve. Discard all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat remaining in pan. Sauté onion in it until it has begun to soften and add the orzo, browning it with onion as you would rice for pilaf. When onion is tender, remove pan from heat and add sweet Hungarian paprika. Drain and rinse sauerkraut in a colander. Squeeze moisture out and chop rather finely. Add to onion mixture and stir until blended. Pour in 6 cups of water, crushed garlic, sausage and salt and paper to taste. Refrigerate overnight.

Day 2- Bring to boil, turn down heat, and cook slowly, covered, for half an hour. Stir flour and dill weed into sour cream. Add a little hot soup to equalize temperatures before stirring into soup pot. Cook slowly, stirring until thick and smooth. Add bacon. [Add more salt and pepper if desired.]

Disclaimer: The above soup recipes were taken from ‘Best of the Best from California Cookbook’.

What is your favorite homemade soup recipe? Share your family’s best in the comments below!

national homemade soup day

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