Trading Post: Soup is the most basic kind of dish

Kathryn Rem

It’s no surprise that soup was one of the first cooked dishes prepared by humans.

Combining ingredients in a large pot was simple, nutritious and easily digested by young and old.

According to, the modern restaurant industry is based on soup. “Restoratifs” (which gave us the word “restaurant”) were the first items served in public restaurants in 18th century Paris. They included consomme and bouillon. From that, classic French cuisine generated many of the soups we know today.

A couple of the soups known by Dotti Milner of Springfield are shared here.

Sausage Lentil Soup

1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

2 (10.5-ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup water

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup dry lentils, rinsed

In Dutch oven or soup kettle, brown and crumble sausage; drain. Add next 9 ingredients; bring to a boil. Add lentils. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 60 to 70 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Makes 6 to 8 servings (2 quarts).

Savory Cheese Soup

1/4 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups milk (see note)

1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Fresh or dried chives (optional)

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Add flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder; stir until smooth. Gradually add milk; cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.

Meanwhile, bring chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add carrots and celery; simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add to milk mixture and stir until blended. Add cheeses. Cook and stir until melted (do not boil). Garnish with chives, if desired.

Note: Soup will not curdle if you use 1 can of evaporated milk and 1 can of water in place of the regular milk.

Makes about 4 servings.

The Trading Post is a recipe-exchange column that runs every other week and is compiled by Kathryn Rem. Send recipes and recipe requests to the Trading Post, The State Journal-Register, P.O. Box 219, Springfield, IL 62705; fax to 788-1551; or email Please include your name, city and daytime phone number.