There are few meals more easily assembled than a can of soup. Anymore you don’t even need a can opener – a lot of them come with a pull ring. Unfortunately, if that’s as far as you go, it isn’t that great a meal.
I shared Mom’s quick technique for improving chicken and noodles with Sam – and she asked if I could go through all I could remember. Mom’s mastery of basing the soup off a can meant that getting a couple unanticipated dinner guests was never a problem. A hearty soup would go along with slightly smaller portions and everyone would be happy and well fed.
That can of chicken noodle soup is a pretty thin meal – but half a handful of dried onions, a carved up carrot and a small can of chicken turns it into something resembling a meal. A can of tomato soup, accompanied by a can of milk and a can of diced tomatoes (preferably with a bit of peppers) turns it into a near-great tomato soup. We’re 500 miles from the sea, so there’s nothing wrong with beginning your clam chowder with a can, adding another can of clams, and making a decent clam chowder – decent only, because fresh clams are definitely better, but not available in the rural Rock Mountains.
She knew how to use cans to improve the quality of soup – that and a few other tricks. I’ve picked up a few of them.