It’s unfortunate that I used to associate this versatile, easy to make, enjoyable any time of year, warm deliciousness, with being sick. Maybe like me, growing up, the make-you-feel-instantly-better go-to was a bowl of Campbell’s Tomato Soup. My mom would serve it on the coffee table in our living room, while I’d lay on the couch under a bundle of bulky blankets. Just hearing the whirl of our electric can opener removing the tin top made me perk up. Next, I’d hear the contents being plopped into a saucepan, a can of water filled from the kitchen faucet being added, and then a slightly cloying smell would begin to emanate, the aroma getting stronger as the eight minutes to heat it ticked away.
From my journal: November 12, 2015 Thousand Oaks, California
“It’s soup weather! My new favorite is Mulligatawny! Why haven’t I ever had this before??”
Although I had heard of Mulligatawny Soup thanks to the “Soup Nazi” episode of Seinfeld, I had never made it or eaten it until I found what sounded like a tasty recipe in Michelle Tam and Henry Fong’s Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans cookbook. Who could imagine combining oil, onions, tomato paste, shredded coconut, garlic, ginger, curry powder, chicken broth, celery, carrots and best of all a banana, chopped apple and cilantro together?! Not me. But the result – pure heaven in a pot!
Everything about soup appeals to me. And when autumn arrives, what can be better than walking into a house while shaking off the cold from a chilly walk outdoors, and hearing the soothing sounds of something simmering on the stove. Then being greeted by sensational smells of spices and herbs and being drawn into a kitchen where the warmth envelops you like a hug. And when you pick up the lid of the pot on the stove, the steam makes your face tingle in anticipation of ladling a generous serving into a bowl, then sitting down with time enough to savor it.
I still enjoy a warm bowl of nutritious soup when not feeling well, but it’s usually a simple veggie recipe like versions bookmarked by stains in my duct-taped copy of the Joy of Cooking. Sometimes though, it’s chicken soup, or even tomato, but always homemade. I also love this liquid perfection all times of the year and even anytime of the day. Sometimes I’ll make it with carefully procured items, at other times I toss anything I have in the fridge into the pot, a true stone soup of sorts. Most times I’ll create a warm soup, but in the summer I’ve been known to make a mean gazpacho. How ever this food is created, with whatever ingredients and whenever, I agree with the most memorable Campbell’s soup slogan…it’s always “M’m! M’m! Good!″