Don’t just throw everything in the pot!

Soup is wonderful in many different ways. It certainly gives any cook an incredibly useful way to use vegetables, proteins, and starches that are sitting in your fridge desperately looking for a use before they give their last breath.  This weekend I had some garden grown wax beans, a nice eggplant, and a half eaten roast chicken that were looking for a new lease on life.  Many cooks are tempted to wash these ingredients, throw them on the stove in a large pot of water, and let them simmer for an hour or two.  Tempting I know, but don’t do it!  You’re selling the soup short.  Soups like most recipes have layers of flavor.  And you owe it you to your guests, yourself, and to your soup to make the most out of all those flavors.  The eggplant, the beans, and even the carrots that I put in this soup develop much richer flavors if you give them a chance to sauté themselves in a little olive oil first. This is also a great time to add some dry seasonings (Italian seasoning is an easy and great flavor enhancer).  Then throw them in the soup.  You’ll love the enhancement in flavor!