The return of soup
November, how we love thee. You couldn’t have come at a better time. Before fall, choosing clothing was a case of deciding which shirt, the black or the white, would show less sweat. Pick the white and it’s a wet T-shirt contest; pick the black and it’s a less visible yet wetter wet T-shirt contest. But now that you’re here, November, black and plaid are back and in fad, ready to be thrown into the mix along with steaming dark roast coffee and freshly sharpened pencils. Thanks for passing by, November.
This month, the summer blast is finally over for good, leaving us free to hail the return of soup. Hot, sexy soup. Winter’s perfect mate. A leftover-lover’s dream come true. A sweater-wearing, wine-drinking extravaganza, wonderful alone or with friends. Give me good chunky stew alongside a big ‘ol pint of beer any day during the cold months and watch as I settle comfortably into my chair and forget all about everything everywhere. Oh, and pass the bread, please. Thank you. Want some?
Versatile, cheap and fantastically easy to prepare, soup is your best friend when you clomp home with the wind at your back, starving and cranky. With only one pot and a smattering of ingredients, a meal will be bubbling merrily away in 15 minutes or less, without much more effort on your part beyond a bit of chopping and some slapdash spices. So whether it’s a hearty bean concoction or an elegant French onion served with bread, tortillas or all on its own, break out the wool socks and settle in. Things are lookin’ up.
This particular recipe, practiced and perfected through years of bitter Montana winters, is the ultimate in warming comfort, the paragon of heat-me-up paradise that can be attributed to both the steaming broth and the swift spicy kick of the curry paste (make a pot and try to stay cold- I dare you). It’s simple and lovely all by itself, but goes to a whole new level with the addition of warm, crunchy croutons fresh off the stove. Salt, pepper and a generous dash of olive oil are combined with yesterday’s bread, toasted over a hot flame and tossed on top for some oh-so-delicious soup-lovin’ magic. You’d better make extra. Totally reasonable.