Soup is a metaphor for life in our home. It comes in infinite varieties, from the simple to the sublime. A bowl of soup is a comfort; a pot of soup is thrift. Some soups are started from scratch, and others are an amalgam of what is handy, fresh or leftover. Some soups are the result of days of cooking; others are thrown together in minutes. Soups, like days, can range from light and breezy to substantial, filling, hearty.
This is the time of year when soups are in their glory. It is the perfect food for winter: a pot of soup on the woodstove always ready for a quick snack or a big lunch. I admit there is not much soup making here in the summer, just an occasional rainy day ratatouille or late summer minestrone. But once the fall weather arrives, the stockpots come out. Split pea with ham for those woodcutting days. Potato cheese for the first snowfall. Chicken noodle for winter colds. We have lists of favorites and it makes the winter fly by as we devour lentil soup with carrots and sausage, beef barley, and hillbilly manybean soup. Soon the warm weather will seep through the winter winds, and our minds will turn back to the grill and salads. But for now, soup's on!