What do you get when you combine leftover lentils with the remains of spaghetti sauce with chunky vegetables? Just by adding more water with an array of spices along with a bay leaf, you can concoct a delicious hearty soup, comparable to vegetarian chili. Not too long ago, I made a pot of vegetable soup with lentils, and it hit the spot and warmed my soul. The falling temperatures of the first days of New Year remind us that January is “Soup Month” a most appropriate designation.
Considered one of the first “fast foods,” soup was sold by the ancient Greeks in the street, using peas, beans and lentils as main ingredients, according to K-State Dining and Housing Services.Before there was soup, there was broth, which people used to pour over a piece of bread in a bowl. That bread was known as “sop,” from which the word soup is derived.
In the Middle East, “the sop”—had special significance, in that “to give sop,” is a gesture of respect and honor. Such a tradition is especially revealing when Jesus Christ offers “the sop” to Judas, who betrayed him.
When asking about soup preferences, an informal survey among co-workers and acquaintances revealed four places where one can find really “good soup” in the greater Columbus area.
1) Panera Bread Company
One of the most popular places offering a variety of hearty soups is Panera Bread Company. A special group of students at the University of Phoenix Columbus Campus enjoy the French Onion, Broccoli Cheddar and other special daily selections which are served with freshly-baked bread or in a bread bowl upon request.
2) Cosi Restaurants
Another restaurant offering different soups every day of the week is Così. Among the signature Così soups are Lobster & Butternut Squash Bisque, Tomato Basil Aurora, and Pollo e Pasta, chicken with Mediterrean vegetables & cous cous pasta, all of which are served with flatbread.
3) Katzinger’s and other local delis.
A third place where you can find highly recommended soup are local delicatessens, such as Katzinger’s in German Village which boasts of “homemade” chicken broth, served with noodles and homemade matzo balls, as well as “Seth’s Soup of the Day.” Accompanying the soups are the signature deli sandwiches described as “big” and “huge.”
4) Your own kitchen
The final place that serves what some describe as “the best soup in town” is your own kitchen. So many of those with whom I talked with described the best home-made soup as coming from their own kitchens. With the advent of slow cookers and other devices, you find many individuals offering their own recipes for a wide range of soups from beef and chicken to strictly vegetarian soups and stews and chilis and chowders. As one who loves to cook, I know full well that soup is a hearty meal to make and to serve.
While soups as hearty meals are warm and satisfying to the body, what about food that is satisfying to the soul as well. The place where you can find sustenance for the soul is in the Word of God. Job recognizes the value of the Scriptures and comments, “I have esteemed your Word more than my necessary food.” The Psalmist offers this invitation: “Oh, taste and see, that the Lord is good.”
For an array of delectable soup recipes and more, check out modenook.com’s Winter Cookbook.