I made soup last night. Or more correctly, I put together a pot of soup.
I had most of the ingredients prepared ahead. Turkey stock from the Thanksgiving bird. Corn, carrots and diced chicken from another night’s stir fry dinner. Some store-bought chicken stock, left over from another project. Matzoh balls, prepped from matzoh meal, eggs, salt and oil. Small, thin noodles, bought a few months back when packages were a two-for-one special.
Add some freshly baked bread (made from pizza dough that had been stashed in the freezer, rolled out and sprinkled with sea salt and grated cheese) and it was a meal fit for a cold night.
What is it about soup and bread that makes it fit and filling for fall and winter? Even in a sub-tropical climate, where an umbrella-topped girlie drink is more the norm, we haul out the deep bowls and big spoons and get out the heavy pots for something to give us internal heat. Are we looking for kinship with our northern neighbors? Do we need a reminder of a childhood long gone, when soup and bread was perhaps a meal eaten out of economic necessity rather than choice? Is it a matter of time, or lack of it, when we open a few cans of soup, heat them up and call lunch or dinner done? Maybe it’s the versatility: you can make a vegetarian as happy as a meat-eater with a bowl of soup.
For me, the soup siren sings sweetly all year. I can go hot and sour, wig out on won ton or credit the power of chicken noodle soup any time. And fortunately, I have leftovers from last night; enough to last through the weekend, or at least the current cold snap.