Well, I made my first soup of the season yesterday.
And it got me all excited for all the potential soups, stews, chowders, and chilis I may make as the weather turns colder. Soups are great weekend projects too because you can eat leftovers for lunch all week long, and in most cases, the flavor only gets better and better each day!
So I’ve been thinking about soups a lot today. I even read this amusing post which articulates a poignant yet entertaining internal debate about soup-making. And I once attended a poetry reading where President Obama’s inaugural poet, Elizabeth Alexander, shared her thoughts on how writing poetry is a lot like making soup from scratch. First, you have to have an initial inspiration or idea, much like the classic mirepoix foundation of soup (onions, carrots, celery). Then you want to add some flavor, some style to your writing; for a soup, you might chop up some other vegetables and maybe sort them by size or relative hardness as the harder ones (the ideas that stump you) will take longer to cook. The next step in soup-making is generally to add your liquid (water, broth, stock) and your backbone (maybe a ham shank, some chicken bones, etc.). And then you have to let it simmer. Hopefully, by now the metaphor has clicked and you’ll understand that sometimes, the longer “it” simmers, the better it tastes, and so you have a period of waiting. And how do you know when it’s done? Season with salt and pepper “to taste.” What does “to taste” mean? When it seems right to you.
I really like Elizabeth Alexander’s insight, and I hope you’ll keep it in mind the next time you are making soup. Or writing poetry. But back to the matter at hand. I’ve done a little creating of my own, and today’s poll asks for your favorite kind of soup–the one that you crave when you think of cold weather and warm fireplaces. So go ahead, vote for the soup that you love to slurp!
Bonus points: Leave a comment describing (as poetically as possible) your favorite soup!