2017-02-02 / Life in Leelanau

Soup still a staple for Leelanau County cooks

By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff

SOUP’S ON the menu Saturday at The Homestead for ‘Super Soups’ a fundraiser for the Empire-based non-profit Buckets of Rain. Photo: Karuna Photography SOUP’S ON the menu Saturday at The Homestead for ‘Super Soups’ a fundraiser for the Empire-based non-profit Buckets of Rain. Photo: Karuna Photography A recent advertising campaign for Campbell’s Soup told us “Soup is Good Food.”

Now there’s evidence to back this up.

Scholarly articles recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics say that soup, served in various forms, can reduce appetite.

Another stated that longterm soup consumption can positively impact health.

But it was survival for early man and pioneers who made their homes on the Leelanau Peninsula.

“It was a great way to stretch what they had,” said Susan Odom, food historian and owner of Hillside Homestead farmstay inn located in Suttons Bay Township. “They even had a special piece of equipment called a ‘soup digester.’”

Scraps of meat and vegetables were placed in a series of sieves in the digester pot. Water was added and the ingredients were left to simmer for hours on the stove. After it was cooked, the liquid was drained from a spigot at the bottom of the vessel.

Preindustrial societies across the globe used the whole animal — especially bones — for making broth.

They apparently were onto something.

Bone broths are the latest culinary craze.

Pick up any popular magazine and it’s tough not to see an article about bone broth. This nutritious elixir is made of roasted bones which are then simmered for a long period of time — anywhere from eight to 24 hours — not only to produce gelatin from collagen-rich joints — but trace minerals from the bones.

There are plenty of claims that the broth contains glycine, which supports the body’s detoxification process and proline, which supports good skin health when paired with vitamin C.

But scientific studies to prove these claims are scant.

“The jury is still out on that,” said Tina Greene of Suttons Bay.

She is the former chef/owner of Kissing Rock Kitchens in Grand Rapids and a longtime soup-lover.

“It’s one of those things you think about when you’re out on a cold day,” Greene said.

The options are boundless as most anything in your refrigerator or pantry can go in the pot.

“I’ll go in the kitchen and take a little of this and that,” Greene said. “I use farro, wheat berries or whatever grains I might find. If there’s some chicken, beef or pork, I’ll use that too. But you don’t have to have meat.

Chilled after a recent outdoor explore, Greene warmed herself with homemade tomato soup.

“I found some stewed tomatoes and put them on the stove, put some cream in … basil and boom— tomato soup,” she said.

Greene is also known to use leftovers.

“I had some cheese sauce, put it in an oven-safe dish, threw a few cherry tomatoes in and put some puff pastry on top,” she said. “It was like French onion soup. Great.”


Beef Noodle Soup

2 lb. stewing beef

1 soup bone

1 can beef broth

1 can tomatoes

4 carrots, sliced

3 stalks celery, diced

2 med. onions, chopped

1 bay leaf




• Cut stewing beef in bite-size pieces. Cover with water in large kettle. Add beef broth and tomatoes, either diced or chopped in blender, and soup bone. Salt and pepper to taste. Add bay leaf and simmer about 2 hours, or until beef is tender.

• When almost tender, add sliced carrots and celery. (Quantities of vegetables can vary.) When vegetables are tender, add about 6 ounces of noodles, or more, if preferred. A good cold weather meal.

Italian Sausage Soup

1 lb. Italian sausage (hot and mild mixed)

1 lg. onion, chopped

1 green pepper, diced

1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms

1 (1 lb.) can dried tomatoes

2 1/2 cup V8 juice

2 coup water

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. celery seed

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 cup egg noodles (Reames, frozen, 12 oz. are good)

• In a 3-quart saucepan, brown sausage; cut into 2-inch pieces. Add onion and green pepper and cook until tender. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes, V8 juice, water, parsley, lemon juice, salts, thyme, celery seed and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and summer for 20 minutes. Gradually stir in noodles and keep boiling. Boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

• Note: Easy. Great doubled. Can do ahead. Can freeze, or serve immediately.

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