Soup with the Stars

By Brenna O’Dea

You may not have tuned in to the red carpet as the sun was rising and scheduled your entire Sunday around every pre-pre-pre-Oscar party program comin’ at ya live from Hollywood, but chances are you caught at least a lil’ bit of the action. And let me tell you, there was ACTION. There was drama. There was comedy. There was crazy confusing chaos. We all need to cool down. And I think the best way to do it is by warming up. We’ve got some soothing soups that you can whip up tonight and turn to for quick n’ easy dinners all week long.

Best Picture: Chicken Noodle

All around, all American, all time classic. This big ol’ bowl of broth will cure everything that ails you. Whether it’s just the sniffles or the full blown flu, chicken noodle soup saves the day. This recipe is full of flavor and ready for you to customize. Add extra herbs and spices for the adventurous eaters around your table, or keep it simple for picky palates. Best of all, invite the little ones to help toss all the ingredients in the pot, and choose their favorite noodle shape to make this meal all their own (hint hint chicken n’ stars). Check out these helpful tips to make your next batch even better than the last, and your golden broth is sure to win one of those golden guys named Oscar.

Best Short Film (Animated): Split Pea

Like this film category, the split pea is often underrated. It is humble. It rarely disappoints. Surprisingly full of flavor and pizzazz when combined with just the right companions (some heavenly honey ham or perfectly placed CGI), split pea soup can satisfy your salty and sweet tooth in just one slurp. Okay, I know it’s not for everyone, some of us just don’t see the appeal in a film that doesn’t even run for 10 minutes, or appreciate the delicate flavors of this tiny green veggie. But hey, more for me. I have always loved peas. Since I was a wee babe. Pea soup is the perfect bite for tiny tummies who aren’t so fond of their green veggies yet. And if the ham ain’t your jam, this even simpler take (courtesy of the Contessa herself), is meat-free but flavor-full, and sure to be a family favorite.

Best Foreign Language Film: French Onion

You knew it was comin’. I mean, how could I NOT include this bad boy who hails from France with a suitcase full of salty savory goodness. The competition was skewed from the start. With cheese and bread bursting from this bowl, it was born to be a front runner. But hey, onion is still a vegetable, right? Now, we don’t recommend making this a nightly rotation in your dinner endeavors. Maybe make it a once-a-month-meal so you can still fit into that red carpet-worthy dress this weekend…or twice a month because it’s just that damn delicious and awards season is OVER. Make sure to try these handy dandy tips to get your boiling bowl up to Oscar-standards. But don’t worry, like I said, this soup is basically a grilled cheese sandwich so it’s a winner in our book.

Best Screenplay (Original): Matzo Ball

Ah, at last, the belle of the ball (cue pity laugh from uncomfortable audience members who just want to get to the after party and get their drink on). Manischewitz is what they’ll be drinking with this special soup of course. We know it’s not quite Passover yet, but why wait to indulge in this good stuff until spring. With flavors similar to it’s worthy competitor, chicken noodle, matzo ball soup is just a bit more original. Little hands are just right for rolling up the matzo meal and all the mix-ins. This beautiful bowl does take a bit more time than the usual fare (this ain’t no adapted screenplay). This Jewish delicacy is best made from scratch and from the heart…and served in a bowl bigger than your head of course).

So now that the Academy has given you a gentle nudge toward which movie you should rent tonight, and you’ve got some warming end-of-winter recipes to keep you full all week long…sit back, relax, and enjoy the show (with a side of soup).

(Image by flickr member Jackie Lee licensed under Creative Commons)

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