“A Good Soup Attracts Chairs”

  – African proverb

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By mid March even winter enthusiasts like me start to find their minds wandering into daydreams of greener, warmer, more vital times….. making it the perfect time for a bowl of comforting soup to celebrate the mutual joys of (still) cold outdoors and warm insides.  While I was preparing soup and accompanying comments for an evening about Comfort Food at our town library recently, I came across chef and cookbook author Mollie Katzen‘s apt description:

"Whether it is served hot or cold, thin or thick, chunky or smooth,
soup is the universal comfort food, the primordial vehicle of 
nourishment.  Curative properties are ascribed to soup in every 
known culture, and I wouldn't be surprised if, in many cases, the 
cure is for emotional hunger as well as for physical need."

Soup w/ kale bouquet

Comfort food is often associated with what your mother or grandmother cooked for you, either when you came home from school, or in from playing in the snow, or when you weren’t feeling well.  A can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom was my first comfort food soup.  I remember my mother buying them on sale: 10 cans for a dollar.  How could a recent immigrant trying hard to slide into the American lifestyle go wrong?

Many years later, after she had become immersed in the Macrobiotic diet, a homemade pot of miso soup became a regular comfort soup in our home. We’d have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner – as a nourishing broth and digestive support, just as the Japanese did, we learned in Macrobiotic cooking classes.

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Now with a bountiful garden, abundant local organic farms and a good soup pot, I make at least one large batch a week.  It’s what I like to serve my family for dinner and lunch the following day, and with lots to go around, I fill quart-sized Ball jars and make it available on our local online farmers market YourFarmstand.com.

As the folktale “Stone Soup” illustrates, regardless of individual ingredients or particular seasonings, a pot of soup draws eaters, who pull up chairs, fill up bowls and find comfort in both the nourishment and the company.

If you share the love of soup, you’ll enjoy these internet resources:

And these tangible cookbooks:

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3 thoughts on ““A Good Soup Attracts Chairs”

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