Bittman is Souper…
Ugh, one of the worst blog post titles of all time.
Still: soup is one of the absolute best, easiest, cheapest, healthiest things one can ever, ever cook. Check out his New York Times article:
In it he gives a base recipe for each of the four above “types” of soup, with a couple of variations on each. And working down the lists, as he suggests, is its own set of soup-cooking lessons, so that by the time one is done you just know how to make soup.
If one likes the “earthy hearty” kinds of soup, which is what we eat mostly at my house, it can be even easier than Bittman suggests–put a can of broth, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of beans together in a pot and heat them up, and you’ve got a base to which you can add all kinds of things…I call it “ur-soup,” and I blogged about it a couple of years ago, check it out! (That’s the more complex version; it basically comes down to the can-of-broth-can-of-tomatoes-whatever-else-is-in-the-cupboard method…)