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January is National Soup Month!

News Article from Susan Hill

January is the perfect month for soup!  Soup is a great menu item for lunches and dinners.

You can add different condensed soup over rice or noodles to make a quick and easy meal which takes no time at all.  There are so many varieties of soup, everyone is sure to enjoy something. Whether you enjoy the creamy varieties, condensed or chunky, they’ll make your mealtime enjoyable, especially with their low fat, reduced sodium and healthier versions.
Since it is National Soup Month there are some fun facts about soup, which to me was very interesting! Check some of these out.

Soup lovers across America consume more than 10 billion bowls of soup each year. On average, American consumers stock six cans of soup in their pantries at all times. Soup can even be used to refresh leftovers from a previous meal. Two cups of rice, pasta or mashed potatoes and a can of your favorite chunky style soup make a quick and easy dinner that’s ready in minutes and costs under $4.

The three most popular varieties of soups are chicken noodle, cream of mushroom, and tomato.   These varieties are among the top ten in grocery purchases every week.  Many soups are a ‘secret’ ingredient in a favorite recipe.  Some people believe that soup is the perfect weapon in weight loss because it gives a feeling of satiety with fewer calories.

Soup flavors have been inspired by almost every country around the world… From Mexican-style to Italian-style, soup is literally a cultural melting pot!  It is suggested that in the late 1700s, a French king was so enamored with himself that he had his royal chefs create a soup that would allow him to see his own reflection in the bowl. As a result, consommé (clear broth) was born.

Soup is a great, easy and cost-effective way to get a full serving of vegetables.  Soup is also a breakfast food in many cultures. In Japan, the day is started with a bowl of miso soup or fish broth with rice. In France, children traditionally eat leftover homemade soup before going to school. And, in any country, soup can take center-stage in delicious breakfast dishes like Egg Noodle Breakfast or Spinach Mushroom Frittata.

Frank Sinatra always asked for chicken and rice soup to be available to him in his dressing rooms before he went on stage. And, what a great idea that was! There’s nothing like a delicious, soothing bowl of soup to get you ready to do anything – even belting out a few tunes!

Although there is no official origin of the pairing of the grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, government-issued cookbooks tell us that World War II U.S. Navy cooks broiled hundreds of “American cheese filling sandwiches” in ship’s kitchens. The tasty combination was economical, easy to make, and because tomato soup is packed with vitamin C, it met government nutrition standards.


Other interesting facts about soups are:

The colors of Campbell’s soup labels, red and white, come from the colors of the Cornell University football team.

In Nebraska, it is illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are brewing a pot of soup.

A 12th century physician named Moses Maimonides first prescribed chicken soup as a cold and asthma remedy. More recently, University of Nebraska researcher found that chicken soup may ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. So, when you’re fighting off a winter cold, simply enjoy a steaming-hot bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Soup etiquette reigns supreme in New Jersey, with a law in Ocean City, making it illegal to slurp soup.

Now we can see can see why January would be the perfect month for soup!

Cream of Potato Soup

1 ½ cups water

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

2 beef bouillon cubes

1 ½ cups unseasoned mashed potatoes

2 tablespoons corn-oil margarine

2 cups skim milk

½ teaspoon paprika, or to taste

Combine water, celery, and onions in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until mushy, about 30 minutes. Strain mixture (should make about 1 cup liquid). Add bouillon cubes to hot liquid and stir until dissolved. While liquid is still hot, pour it over potatoes in saucepan. Stir. Add the margarine, milk, and paprika. Warm over low heat, stirring constantly.

Makes 4 servings. One serving: 1 cup

One serving contains; 162 calories, 2 mg cholesterol; 548 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 6 g fat or 33% of total calories.

Note: To reduce sodium, use 3 teaspoons low-sodium beef bouillon in place of 2 regular bouillon cubes.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!