Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Modern Cooking: Harmony Soup
I bought a bag for $5 at my local "Amish" market of what looked like beans. On the side was a recipe for Harmony soup. I've never had Harmony soup before but, given the ingredients, I figured I'd give it a try.
2 cups of Harmony Soup Blend
1-3 lb of a whole chicken
3 quarts water
1 tablespoon of dry savory leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup fresh chopped onion
1 cup fresh diced celery with the leaves
2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
Now, I didn't use a whole chicken - I had a pound of chicken breast in the freezer I took out instead. Also, I didn't have turmeric on hand so I left it out. I don't think it affected the taste that greatly.
Based on the directions, I dumped the entire bag of the soup blend into my soup pot, put some water in it, and let the beans soak overnight in the fridge. The ingredients of the soup blend are as follows: Hard red winter wheat, pearled barley, pinto beans, kidney beans, split green peas, red rice, black beans, navy beans, and safflower oil. I guess they coat the beans in the oil at some point? The bag itself wasn't oil so I'm not sure why the safflower oil thing was added.
Anyway, the beans soaked overnight and I threw away the water in the morning based on the directions. I'm not sure why you do that since the next thing to do is add a little over 3L of water back in but, eh, whatever. I also added the chopped up chicken breast, the spices, and let it simmer for an hour. After an hour, I added the carrots, onion, and celery. You just let it boil for another 20 or 30 minutes and then, soup!
Taste verdict: First, it smells heavenly. Seriously, if you just want your house to smell good, make this soup. It's not the least bit difficult and I bet, like me, most people have a lot of the spices and ingredients on hand.
Second, it's good. It's not an instant favorite but it's certainly something I'll make again. It's a bit too "light" for my normal tastes - I like heavy, full bodied soups and stews. However, it's good and it's one of those soups that you like more after you've eaten it, if that makes sense. I think I might change it up next time and soak the beans in chicken broth rather than plain tap water. I really think that will take it to the level I like. I'll also go an buy some turmeric. ;-) Still, if you are a Panera fan, I think you'll really enjoy this soup.
BTW, the recipe makes a LOT of soup. I might buy another bag before Pennsic and invite people over for soup. I probably have enough for ten or more hungry people, easily. Based on nuts.com and other websites, a normal human's bowl full of soup is probably about 200 calories.