Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Friday February 04, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Soup Contest

I must say as I read through the 17 recipes that I received for the contest I know that I am so graced to have created Heirloom Meals.  To read the stories and the memories that are attached to the recipes touches my heart in the deepest place. Here are a couple of recipes and their stories:

Carol Way shares, "This soup was adapted from my grandmother’s recipe. My meme’ was French Canadian, born in Quebec City and made chicken soup year round. She was a purist, and believed that onion, celery and carrots were the only vegetables worthy of her soup. Depending on what was available, she would use rice or macaroni, never potatoes, as the starch.

My future daughter in law was born in Korea. When we visit Shane and Sophia in New York City, we always end up Korea town and feast on man doo and the Korean version of chicken soup. When I first had it, I made my version based on my grandmother’s simple soup but added an Asian flair!
It amazes me that recipes are universal. When I lived in Housatonic for over 20 years, my polish neighbor made a similar chicken soup but used potatoes while my grandmother thought potatoes would ruin the soup! My Italian father in law makes a minestrone version of chicken soup adding what ever is fresh and available from his garden.
I’m looking forward to hearing about all types of chicken soup even though I know I will never venture too far from Meme’s tried and true recipe! "

And, Mishy Lesser reveals: I come from a Jewish family and chicken soup is legendary not just for healing the sick but also as a ritual food that is sometimes enjoyed as we celebrate the Sabbath on Friday nights, and always for Passover.  I’m sure ours is not the only family where there can be fierce rivalry over whose chicken soup reigns supreme, and more than once I’ve seen significant jockeying among cooks who want their soup to kick-off the meal.  I can identify: I am that way with turkey, but that is another story.  Recently my mother and I were planning a holiday menu that included chicken soup and she shared with me that she has never been able to replicate the smell of her mother’s soup.  Mind you, my mother is eighty-three and that means she’s had countless opportunities to try to figure this out.  We wondered if the aroma and flavor she remembers came from the chickens, what they were fed, whether her mother used chicken frames or extra parts, but we haven’t been able to crack the code.  In her own words, she says “I remember chicken soup from my childhood as smelling absolutely wonderful and have never managed to experience that level of deliciousness again.  Perhaps it is just remembering the past the way I want it to be, or perhaps someone out there has the answer!”

I will be sharing everyone's recipe and story in the days to come! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!