It seems cruel to make someone test recipes while they are sick, and this week Tom had the flu. So I made him a nice bowl of hot chicken noodle soup.
With Fried Bananas on top!
This was one of those crazy topping ideas I got from a 1941 book entitled, Easy Ways To Good Meals: 99 Delicious Dishes Made With Campbell’s Condensed Soups. (Buy on eBay here! *affiliate link) Which might be surprising, because this sounds like something from a Chiquita banana cookbook. But no, it’s from Campbells. I briefly thought about using actual Campbell’s Soup, but I figured that it wouldn’t make difference if I used homemade or not, since I am sure Campbell’s soup is not the same as it was in 1941 anyway.
I even tried getting fancy with the bananas, and scoring them with a fork like you do for “fancy” cucumbers.
But honestly, it made no difference. You couldn’t tell the “fancied” bananas from the regular ones after they were cooked.
Here we are! All loaded onto soup. I made my “get better quick chicken soup”, which is a rotisserie chicken from the store, bone broth (you can use store-bought) and veggie stock. Then egg noodles, carrots, celery, onion and as much fresh garlic and ginger as you can handle. Pro-tip: Buy a big bunch of celery and use all of the celery leaves, too. They really make a difference!
“What the heck is this?”
“But it’s just chicken soup under it, right?”
“Are you lying?”
“It’s just soup, I promise.”
“Well? How is it? Is your mind blown?”
“It’s not terrible.”
“Well, that’s a ringing endorsement.”
“What do you want from me? It’s bananas in chicken noodle soup.”
The Verdict: Not terrible
From The Tasting Notes –
If you are looking for an “interesting” way to garnish your soup and use up a banana, you could do worse than this. The banana was sweet and a little salty (I used salted butter), and was an interesting contrast to soup. If you got the banana with a bite of chicken, it was better. It might have actually been better with canned condensed soup, because there aren’t any veggies in that. But not something that I am probably ever going to do again. At least in this form. The soup needs to be spicer to work with the bananas, I think. Or maybe do it with a plantain. In an interesting side note, I piled the rest of the bananas into a bowl by themselves and divided them up between the kids to eat straight, and they loved them. Alex said it “tastes like banana pie” and TJ ate his up in a flash. So, if you have that banana or two laying around needing to be used up and it’s too cold for smoothies, maybe just fry it up for your kids for dessert instead of floating it in canned soup.
Yes, plantains seem much more suited to a recipe like this, but I also wonder how different it would taste using the Gros Michel banana that was the main variety grown prior to the 1950s, when it was wiped out by disease. Supposedly Gros Michel is the banana that artificial banana flavor is based on, so, really different from today’s bananas.
“People says to me, ‘Wot’s so surprising about bananana soup?’ And I say, ‘It’s got bananana in it.'”
So sayeth the great Nanny Ogg.
I am with Tom in the misery of being sick (though I think this is just plane crud, rather than the next-level misery of the flu). I am using your seasoning suggestions in my own batch of chicken soup tonight (many thanks for that!). Alas, though, I have no bananas.
Freezy, you just made tea come out of my nose.
Fry bananas in butter and brown sugar and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In my “fresh out of college with a kitchen for the first time” early 20s I thought that was a pretty darn elegant dessert.
Back in the day before I became vegetarian (ok, let’s be real: I went veggie 35 years ago), my very most favorite meal and the one we had very often at my parents’ home was steak and fried bananas. Nothing ever tasted better or was more enjoyable. I had to leave the steak behind (doctor’s orders) but I still fry bananas. I love them crispy and browned in butter and topped with just a little dash of sea salt.
Honestly I was a little surprised to see the picture of your not-so-fried bananas–pale, pasty, and, sadly, not crispy. Do yourself a favor, eat them the crispy way: heat a skillet, add a tablespoon of butter, and drop in slices of banana; let them crisp on one side and flip them to crisp on the other. Nothing better. Seriously. Don’t forget the salt!
Poor guy. Sick as a dog and you’re putting bananas in his soup. LOL! I thought it was funny that he would think to ask you, are you lying??
My father who would have been 97 this year used to reminisce about the big mike banana. It was much better than the cavendish we have today. Cavendish is resistant to the disease. Love your blog. A couple recipes I’ve used were great.gonna do vinegar rolls next
Neat! Thanks for the info on the big mikes. Glad you like the blog, the vinegar rolls are really good!
A question about the celery leaves; did you dice and leave them in the soup or put them in a bag as a bouquet garni?
Hope your husband feels better soon and no one else gets ill.
Hi! Yup, just did a quick chop and left them in the soup. Though, if you leave them in and have leftovers more than a day old they start getting a little bitter.