Soups

Jul 26 2010

My Mom was never much of a soup person.

She’s always liked soups, but in the same way that people like cocktail peanuts or turf grass. When I think of my Mom’s cooking, I remember her chicken cordon bleu, her strawberry whipped cream cake, her divine chocolate fudge cake, her crusty French bread, her unimaginably soft homemade pasta. I don’t remember any soups. I’m sure she made some, but none glued themselves into my memory.

I’ve never loved soups in the same way that, say, the French seem to obsess over them. Soup’s always operated like a cream sauce for me — tasty, in its own way, but never a main dish.

Then I read Molly Wizenberg‘s A Homemade Life, in which she makes a strong case for soups. In particular, soup for lunch. Suddenly, soups make sense.

I always have a tough time with lunch at work. Offices never seem equipped to properly reheat leftovers, and I find myself eating like a hobo out of a sagging plastic tub. Plus, so many things really shouldn’t reheat at the same temperature; I want my roast beef hot, not the bread and lettuce as well.

(Sure, I could separate them, but then I become That Guy, the one who spends twenty minutes assembling his leftovers.)

Soups, though, are perfect for leftovers. Pop them in a big container, bring it to work along with a bowl and spoon, and you’re good to go. Bring a bag full of sliced homemade bread, and lunch becomes a meal.

Now my problem lies in finding a good soup to make. I’ve picked three tomatoes from my garden, so I’m contemplating a tomato soup. Unfortunately, I’ve never liked tomato soup. But maybe that’s because of my upbringing. No offense to my amazing cook of a Mom, but I think I need to get over my soup complex, and learn to love soup.

My Dad loves clam chowder, but that’s another story.

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