A few people out there are very aware that I despise the winter. The sky is a dismal gray, winds howl cacophonously and snow and ice swirl grotesquely around everything before settling like a layer of filth on everything. The cold numbs my soul and my toes. I really detest it.
The one good thing about winter though, in my opinion, is the ample selection of soups. I know it is somewhat silly to think that the best part of winter is the variety of soup. But let’s face it, I am sure no one is surprised. Soup is liquid happiness. It’s hot and delicious as it slips down your throat on a cold day. It nourishes when one is sick. It’s easy to make and there are countless types one can have and I cannot think of a single country that doesn’t have a version of soup. Truly, soup is a miracle.
For me, soup is involved in many happy memories. I learned the months of the year with Maurice SendakDuring summer vacation, my siblings and I had soup all the time. In high school, I had soup every day for lunch. I always look for soup when I want to eat something. My favorite memory of soup is from when I was in kindergarten. Our teacher, Mrs. Robertson (I think that was her name) read us a book called “Stone Soup”. It was an interesting story about a hungry soldier who finds shelter in a town but they won’t give him any food. The soldier tricks the villagers by saying he is going to make stone soup. He gets a pot, fills it with water and puts a clean stone in the cauldron to cook. The villagers watch dumbfounded as he stirs and adds salt. As they are sitting there watching, he casually mentions that the soup would be better if there was a carrot. One of the villagers says that they have a carrot that he could have and he chops it up up and puts it in the pot. HE continues, saying the soup would be better with a potato, or a bit of beef and some rice. Each time he says something, a villager volunteers the ingredient and it is added to the pot. Finally the soup is done and all the villagers and the soldier eat their fill of the “stone soup”, with the villagers never realizing that they were just tricked into feeding the soldier. In our class, we then were sent home and told to bring in an ingredient each and we would make stone soup. I brought a carrot from home. We all trooped to the kitchen where a couple of volunteer moms made our “stone soup”. It was so good and I was so happy that I got to work with my classmates to make something so fabulous. Soup, bringing people together.
I will leave you with a song. A song about beautiful soup. I’m not the only one who loves it.
Beautiful Soup sung by Gene Wilder and cast of “Alice in Wonderland”