The soup of winter / mourning / recovery

Omicron meant I’ve been in the house almost non-stop since Thanksgiving (saved me a lot of money on movies, gas, and restaurant meals and coffee, etc.). The cold temperatures haven’t helped matters (although some of the saved money goes on energy bills). I’ve pretty much only wanted to eat soup (this mirrors something that happened to me after mom’s death, too).


Citrus off the truck was one of mom’s officially sanctioned winter produce purchases. So I still do it off and on (esp because I used to drive past Indian River on my way home, when I lived in Florida). On the day I stood in this line, the wind chill was -20F. And the line was long. I got a box of tangerines and a box of grapefruit. You know how I feel about grapefruit. And I wanted to make grapefruit and avocado salad. Perverse in this weather.


In line with my desire last summer not to eat just to be eating, I’m still trying to be more creative with my food choices. It’s a bit harder insofar as there’s really nothing to buy fresh here now except the occasional greenhouse surplus (most of the local growers who have greenhouses have contracts with local restaurants). And even the stored vegetables are starting to run low — my two goto growers have run out of potatoes, onions and carrots. They still have squash but I’ve eaten a lot of pumpkin soup this fall. It will be a long six months till the rhubarb and asparagus ring in the summer. I froze a lot of soup “base” and tomatoes and I’m making big inroads on them. And it turns out that buying fresh cilantro, mint, and parsley does a lot to pep up almost anything. Thank you to the Hmong stores that sell these things very cheaply!

So herewith, in no particular order, some of the soups I’ve been making. I’m leaving out the ones I’ve tried and decided not to make again, so you can assume that if it’s on the list, I’m making it again. Also I don’t always follow recipes to the letter.

1. You will remember That Soup. Always a winner.

2. Also, my favorite dish for snowy days. Have made this three or four times. Thorin still approves.


This is SO good.


3. This Persian-style chickpea stew (ABOVE) is probably my favorite of everything I’ve tried recently, but it demands the saffron and my supply is limited. Also I imagine it’s not very Persian.

4. Chipotle sweet potato. If I ever go full vegetarian again, this will come into heavy rotation.

5. Columbia Restaurant black bean. I’ve made this a few times since leaving Florida, but since it doesn’t have meat in it, not very frequently. It will be more often now. Great with garlic bread. Freezes well.

6. The “slight modifications to Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce soup” recipe. This is also something dad didn’t like, and that freezes well.

7. Mom’s quick bean soup. Not as good without the bacon, but I’m sure I’ll eventually find an acceptable substitute for that.

8. One pot puttanesca. Fantastic and led me to the revelation that is preserved lemon. So now I have this in my sights as soon as the lemons I’ve put up are ready to go.

9. Couscous soup. So fast and basic pantry friendly.

10. Smoked sausage and baked bean soup. It sounds like something only a Midwesterner could love, but I am a Midwesterner, and I did.


I guess if Richard Armitage spent the holidays in Park City he wasn’t eating this hometown treat.


11. Stilton soup. I made this Christmas Eve, with domestic Stilton from my recently-discovered local cheesemonger.

12. Lobia masala. I made this on New Year’s Day, as I don’t really love Hoppin’ John.

13. Interstate Chili. This is a Sunny Anderson recipe and she’s growing on me. This also froze well and I will definitely make it again when I’m craving chili without noodles.

14. Slow cooker chili verde. It’s not very authentic, but this is another basic pantry winner, although I left out the cheese.

15. Copycat Zuppa Toscana. I.e., another restaurant recipe.

16. That dal from grad school. I’m not sure I ever blogged about this, but it’s onions (sometimes garlic, depending on my mood), curry powder and turmeric, either water or vegetable broth, red lentils, and salt. Carrots if I have them.

17. Red curry carrot. This recipe, except with addition of my carrot soup base, and with mushrooms instead of meatballs.

18. Moosewood West African groundnut. I hadn’t made this recipe since grad school, I’m sure, but I like these soups with nut butters stirred in as the main protein.

I have in my sights this (for tomorrow), some kind of potsticker soup with frozen potstickers because I’m lazy that way, Moroccan Harira Soup, and this Ethiopian-inspired soup.


ETA: also want to make this purple potato soup just because I have a bunch of them left.

~ by Servetus on February 5, 2022.

19 Responses to “The soup of winter / mourning / recovery”

  1. As a German, soups are important to me. There are lots of recipes I like, e.g. these delicious ramen:
    Add the veggies you have (scallions, onions, frozen beans etc.), this recipe is a winner in my house.
    Although we are not a vegan family (partly vegetarian) I love the two recipe sites Pick Up Limes ( and Rainblow Plant Life (, two sweet young women with absolutely amazing and tasty recipes (soup, meal-prep, budget, quick etc.).
    It makes sense to order a basic array of spices like cumin, cardamom and similar because they can make such a huge difference.
    I have always cooked and baked from scratch but getting inspiration from these websites has elevated the cuisine in our house one more notch 😉


    • Thanks for the suggestions! Yes, a serious battery of spices is essential for this type of cooking. I’m lucky to have a Penzey’s store in my town, so I can often get something that’s not in the grocery within a few hours if the urge hits me. However, I’m increasingly aware of the ethical / sustainable level of spice purchasing and a bit troubled by my profligacy. I can get the saffron from a local family here so I know that a very laborious job is not killing them, but it also limits how much I can get.


  2. Wow, that’s quite a range of soups! I’ve been making many kale dishes lately, it’s a winter vegetable here.


    • I remember that from Göttingen. I do like it and it’s one of the first things that arrives here in June. I need to explore that again without bacon / pork products.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In June?! Curious. Kale is not at all cultivated here in the summer.


        • Our winter is much colder than most of Germany’s is, even now (we’ve had 3 days above zero C in 2022 so far). The only things growing here right now are in greenhouses (mostly lettuce and herbs) I think they start the kale inside, like a lot of our earliest vegetables, and probably plant it in March and hope there’s no blizzard. (I know it can grow through light snow, though)


        • (by July it’s very warm and all the lettuces and leafy things take a break until September, when they now have a second season — something that was not true when I was younger)


  3. That’s a long time indoors. I hope a mild spring is round the corner for you. Soup is so comforting, and it’s often all I’m in the mood for, so will definitely try some of these recipes, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The worst of all of these storms has passed us by this year. I’ve only moved about eighteen inches of snow so far (I shouldn’t jinx it though, we’re only half way through the snow season).

      I’m sure I’ll want to eat other, more challenging things, again in future (and when the spring comes) but right now it’s almost always soup. The other thing I like about it is that making it is almost repetitive enough that it’s meditative. Chop, cook, stir, ladle.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. These all sound absolutely yummy, and I love grapefruit too ♥️ Winter food is the main thing I like about winter, finally venturing out today after being iced in for a couple. Thanks for sharing!


  5. By the way, the red lentil soup recipe was great. Would be fine with fresh lemon, also, but the preserved lemon really makes it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All those soups sound delicious as well as interesting and exotic. I am using cream of mushroom soup in a casserole . That’s as close to soup as I’m getting today. Good for you. I expect to see you on one of those chef shows soon. Souper duper top chef.


    • If you can open soup cans, you can make one of my favorite Texas-Anglo dishes: King Ranch Chicken!

      Great to hear from you; happy new year!


  7. That is very diverse and every soup dish sounds good too!


    • well, I didn’t link the ones I’ll never make again, but I have definitely figured out what I like in a soup and one aspect is a “striking” taste (for lack of a better word).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What an impressive list. I’ve not used preserved lemon in soup (been awhile since I’ve even made them) and look forward to trying this. I’ve bookmarked several recipes, so thanks. I too am a big winter soup-maker; I live alone and freeze big batches in single portions to stick in the microwave after work. The mourning aspect newly resonates with me, as I just lost my father two weeks ago and am finding soup comforting to eat as well as to make. Yesterday’s session of making chana masala in the crock pot and some sweet potato quinoa chili was unexpectedly soothing and meditative. Hope you’re finding that too.


    • I’m so sorry to hear about your father. Soup is definitely comforting at these times. I should definitely make some chana masala. I hope you continue to find comfort in these recipes!

      Liked by 1 person

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