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October 02, 2009

Soup!

Fall is here. A great time of year in Connecticut because the trees are turning, the weather is refreshing and brisk, and the kids are back in school. (I actually don’t care about the trees and weather; it’s primarily about the kids.) Yes, it’s hard to believe that only a few weeks ago I was swimming naked in a pool in Spain. What’s even harder to believe is that nobody called the police because it wasn’t my pool.

Autumn is, of course, soup weather. For most of my life I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed soup. I would occasionally crack open a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle, maybe indulge in a little French onion if the mood hit me. But only in recent years have I discovered that I actually love soup. Pretty much any kind of soup.

Tomato soup? Yes. Minestrone soup? Sure. What about carrot ginger soup? Yes, my friends. I love carrot ginger soup, even though I do not really like either carrots or ginger. But when they are combined into a creamy broth, they gain the magical power of deliciousness. A power known the world over simply as “soup.”

Anything you put in broth becomes tastier than it was before: mushrooms, peas, the cat. Anything. Every culture enjoys soup. The Russians make borscht, the Vietnamese make Pho Bo. Even the Armenians make soup, and they don’t make anything!

Some people think that soup is boring. Not so. If it’s hot enough it can burn you. Getting burned isn’t boring. Just ask a burn victim. In fact, during the Middle Ages, castle guards used to throw boiling cauldrons of soup onto their enemies. Historians may disagree with my previous statement since it is “not true,” but it is possible and that’s the salient point.

Also, soup features heavily in popular entertainment. Think about every successful movie of the last fifty years. Chances are, at least a couple of them had soup in them. I’m not saying soup is responsible for the success of these movies, but it obviously didn’t hurt.

I think of soup as future food since it is two states of matter at the same time. It’s not really solid or a liquid. It’s the best of both. A food you can slurp. A liquid you can chew. It’s like somebody from the twenty-fifth century sent us a care package. The closest anybody has come to inventing something comparable is James Cameron who gave the world liquid metal in “T2.” But you can’t eat robots, James. Lord knows I’ve tried.

Best of all, soup is associated with family. There’s that old saying, “The family that eats soup together eats soup together.” And while that saying may seem a little redundant, it’s still a great sentiment. So this fall, if you find yourself bored and hungry, why not make your family some fresh homemade soup? You’ll look like a real hero and also you can make it cheap which is good if you have a gambling problem like me.

 

 

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Felicia

On a trip to Scotland a decade ago, I ate soup for lunch every day. Potato leek was a favorite, even in August. A warm roll and a bit of shortbread, literally couldn't have a better lunch!

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