ode to soup


Even rotten cooks have their specialties. For me, it’s soup; you can always add a little water and throw in a couple of croutons. It’s the elixir of my winter life, and with the dark months upon us, I thought it wise to remind all of us when the going gets icy, windy, frigid, we can toughen-up with a bowl of hot, homemade, everything but the snow, giddy, gratifying soup.

Even a rotten cook can make it.

As the Mock Turtle sang in Alice in Wonderland, it’s “Beautiful Soup,” though he may have feared he’d be in the bowl not in front of it.

What’s better in the bitter than to perch before a steaming broth filled with anything but the turtle? Soup makes you sigh, relax, rejuvenate. It enraptures.

For example, I was having a perfectly good conversation recently when I mentioned soup. It was a passing thought and soup was not material to the subject. Yet when I said, “I was eating soup and . . .” my listeners showed a level of attention I’d been unable to muster with my previous witty comments.

“Can I have that recipe?” someone chirped. Of course it was for my all-time favorite Asian vegetable and roasted tofu soup so I wasn’t surprised (best soup ever for turtle-friendly vegetarians). Suddenly I was mesmerizing, the center of attention.

The next thing I know recipes for carrot and parsnip, potato and leek, hearty tomato were leaving people as spellbound as Wonderland.

That’s what soup does. It lulls people into believing the world is a good place to live, a place where we share. It caresses from the inside out, makes us strong in the face of madness, cozy in the midst of chilly receptions piled on top of chilly temperatures.

Not convinced?

Soup is filling, super nutritious, keeps you hydrated, is affordable to make, can help beat the sniffles, is low calorie and high fiber (ditch the cream), is a great way to use leftover vegetables, is ready to go in a minute if you make a quick batch for the week, is easily freezable, makes the house smell like family and friends and great cheer, revives you like a hot toddy and a sauna and a bear hug all in one.

No one said it better than Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. As we look for magic in these short days, maybe while cuddled with another fantastical adventure that’s stood the test of time, let’s again pay homage to the author’s delicious muse -- soup!

Beautiful Soup so rich so green,
Waiting in a hot tureen
Who for such dainties would not stoop.

Soup of the evening
Beautiful Soup,
Soup of the evening,
Beautiful Soup.

Beautiful Sou-oop
Beautiful Sou-oop
Soup of the evening Beautiful Sou-oop
Beautiful, Beautiful Soup.

Beautiful Soup, Who cares for fish,
Game or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup?

Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup,
Beautiful Sou-oop
Beautiful Sou-oop
Soup of the evening Beautiful Sou-oop
Beautiful, Beautiful Soup. 

Wishing you beautiful soup this winter wonderland. Especially if you happen to fall down a rabbit hole.

January, 13, 2019

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