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From the Editor
The Scoop On Soup
By Jim Duncan
My grandmother believed that condensed soup ranked with indoor plumbing as the greatest inventions of her lifetime. Before canned and dried products, making soup was seemingly endless work. Bones were simmered for hours, strained and moved into stock pots, where all leftovers were tossed and cooked for days to keep them from spoiling. Canned soups were miracles of elemental simplicity. All they required were fire and water.
They also became one of the most successful inventions in the history of food. The Campbell’s Soup Company says that Americans annually consume 2.5 billion bowls just of their three most popular soups — chicken noodle, cream of mushroom and tomato. Some Asian dried soup makers sell even more. The accessibility of these popular products can blind us to the amazing complexity of old-fashioned, made-from-scratch soups.
This issue of Relish gives you the scoop on soup from clear consommés and bouillons to their thicker cousins — purées, bisques, veloutés and stews. We will visit some makers of Des Moines’ favorite soups and stocks and look into the history of soup, from its beginnings in the Stone Age to its American originals. The Dish is back with three months of food news and gossip. Get out your spoons, and bon appétit. RELISH