Sunday, October 3, 2010

Soup of the evening, beautiful soup

One of the truly tragic things about summer is the lack of soup. Of course, there are the gazpachos and chilled purees that pass for soup, and indeed these can be quite delicious, but they are, at best, desperate attempts at sanity when the mercury soars. Soup is, after all, a very sane thing to cook.

Soup is beautiful because it can be as simple as a good broth or it can be delightfully complex with meats and vegetables, noodles, dumplings, spices, and even pastes (think pesto or miso). Soup can be something we make to use leftovers, heal the sick, warm our bones, or simply to have something fragrant bubbling on the stove for hours. Somehow, even the smell of a fine broth is fortifying.

Now that the weather is cooler, we may rejoice in the savory bounty of soup once again. One of my favorites is miso soup. This is a real beaut. It can be as simple as a cup of boiling water with a big spoon of miso stirred in, or you can make a big deal out of it (which I recommend), adding garlic and ginger, mushrooms, chili sauce, sesame oil, thinly sliced carrots, and noodles. Heck, throw in a couple beaten egg yolks to thicken it up while you're at it, and top it off with some radish sprouts and scallion. As always, use your good judgment and make something delicious. Taste, season, repeat.

No comments: