Kitchen sink soup is really not a new concept. You just toss everything into a pot and hope it looks like a meal – everything but the kitchen sink, that is.
It reminds me of one of my favourite story books when I was younger was called Stone Soup.
Click the link to read a version of the story that is very close to the one I grew up with – the common phrase being repeated is, “Soup from a stone? Fancy that!”
For those who don’t want to click the link, I’ve paraphrased it for you:
Young beggar is starving and comes across a small house with a garden. The young man gets turned away but comes up with a crazy idea of making stone soup – with a “special” stone he found that makes soup fit for a king. Really, he grabbed it in yard. He tells the woman that one more ingredient will make the soup perfect, and she’s intrigued. To see what happens, she accommodates him and eventually they do make soup fit for a king. It would have been a wonderful soup without the stone, but something as simple as a stone started the journey to a fantastic meal. The old woman insists that she keep the stone, but the beggar pockets it and moves on.
That’s the essence behind this soup: Taking the refuse to create something delicious.
You take your base (whether chicken bones or a stone, although I’m not too sure how that would taste!), and you add whatever you have on hand.
Whatever might be delicious.
When in doubt, add aromatics.
You can never go wrong with any combination of these ingredients. If you’re short something, think about substituting. Don’t have don’t have onions? Use shallots or even leeks. Missing celery? What about using celery seed – there’s usually some in the back of everyone’s cupboards.
Also – key ingredient in any kitchen sink soup: Bay Leaf.
If it’s missing, then it’ noticeable. It gives the soup a low note and makes it that much better.
Other things to consider adding to your soups:
- can of beans, rinsed.
- pot barley
- noodles (toss them in dry and let them cook in your delicious soup – not too many!)
- an egg (toss it in at the last second and stir, it’ll cook quickly as you stir gently)
So here’s the actual directions on how to make Kitchen Sink Soup:
- In a large stockpot, toss the bones from last night’s dinner (Chicken, preferably) into some water and add a bit of salt.
- Turn it on a low heat and leave it for an hour. Add water as needed. If your broth isn’t as strong as you’d like, toss in an OXO cube, whether it’s chicken, beef, or vegetable – just make sure to match the same flavour as your bones!
- In a large pan, combine the onions and garlic chopped, diced, chunks – it’s your choice. Cook on medium heat these until they’re soft and start to brown (sweat them, essentially) and then start adding whatever you want to put in your soup (don’t forget the spices!) with certain exceptions:
- Any noodles or pasta
- Pot barley (this will disintegrate if cooked too long and will make your broth taste weird)
- Essentially anything that cooks quickly
- Cook over a medium heat until the vegetables are browned. Put these vegetables into the broth when they’re done.
- Cook the soup over medium-low heat partially covered for about 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
- Garnish with fresh herbs or salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
- (Optional) Remove skin/bones/bay leaf. If this was done correctly, the fats and all the good stuff from the bones will have gone into the broth.
Super healthy and great for a blustery autumn day. Best served in mugs with spoons to take outside.