I’ve always liked winter, but hated the cold (because that makes sense), and as winter slowly sneaks up on us, hot teas, hot soups, and warm fluffy blankets next to fires deserves just as much love as hot summer days with cool, frosty glasses of lemonade. As different as the seasons are, they all deserve our attention for the unique splendor that they provide.
One of my favorite meals as a kid was when my dad would make homemade chicken and rice soup from scratch when the temperature would begin to drop. The house would smell great for hours, and homemade chicken and rice soup is like none other. It is still my favorite things to make, and just like having Turkey on Thanksgiving, soup during winter is necessary to welcome this change of the seasons.
Incidentally, my grandma on my mom’s side loves soup as well, and is an expert at soup making. She makes her own special variation of chicken and rice, but she also makes a killer split pea soup, that tastes so much better than it sounds. I suppose then, from this evidence, that I was bred to be an excellent soup maker and soup eater. I’ll take it.
I regularly make my own soups, and I estimate that I make a batch of homemade soup every other week. I typically make stock from bones that I have saved, because not only does it taste better, but the marrow from bones boosts a myriad of health benefits, which is important to help your body’s immunity during this flu season. I usually have some frozen stock in the freezer so I am able to make soup when the feeling strikes, but I have also found that soup is an excellent way to trick myself into eating more vegetables; I’ll eat almost anything if its disguised by a soup.
For these dropping temperatures and strangely early cold fronts, I’ve created a new soup that I’m quite proud of. It mixes a bit of my Midwestern roots with Southwestern flair. Its perfect to welcome winter, has just a hint of heat, and is perfect in an oversized bowl with a great book and a roaring fire.