Life-Saver Soup - The story behind it
It’s the early years of the 21st century, and you’re spending your final hours walking the streets after visiting home for the first time in months. The soft heat of Rome in the fall is gentle and familiar on your skin, as the breeze guides you through the foot and vehicle traffic alike. You make one final stop at a small shop, an empty suitcase in your room awaiting your purchase: soup. Bags upon bags of the perfect soup, the only food your four grandchildren really enjoy, the greatest meal you’ve ever tried, and they only sell it here.
A few hours later, and you’re making your way through the airport when the unthinkable happens; they ask to check inside your soup bag. You oblige, and a few moments later you hear a dreadful string of words.
“Ma’am, you can’t bring this soup back to Canada.” Four picky Italian infants back home -- god knows how many more could be coming in the future -- four little kids not so patiently waiting, and you can’t bring them their soup.
You spend your plane ride back to Toronto internally panicking in desperate need of a perfect replica of the perfect soup, or who knows what your fate could be. As you compose yourself you begin work on a recipe, wracking your mind for ingredients and flavour profiles. By the time the flight is over you’ve an entire notebook full of possible substitutions, and you head straight to the market, in hopes that you’ll get it right in time.
The better part of twenty years has passed, and the recipe has changed a thousand times over, but it still remains a hit. Sometimes your eldest still joke that nothing can outdo the original soup, only bought in Rome, but your youngest remains faithful to yours. (Probably because he never tried it.)
Please keep in mind that this is a very loose recipe- it can be adjusted however you like- and you virtually can't mess it up!
1 large breast of chicken (bone in, skin on)
Roughly a half pound of beef
3 small to medium beef bones
1 small onion
2 stalks of celery
1 medium potato
125 ml of unseasoned tomato puree