Tonight I’m going to make winter soup.
There’s nothing particularly special about it; to the unfamiliar eye, it’s just your standard beef-and-vegetables deal. But it’s not a beef-and-vegetable soup; it’s winter soup. It’s something my mother has made for as long as I can remember, and it is one of the infallible markers of the season in my mind, along with things made with wild rice. (Which is in the other soup.)
I’m going to try to make a series of posts this month about my personal Christmas traditions and where they come from. Christmas dinner itself will get its own post, I imagine, but since tonight there will be winter soup, it seemed a good way to start.
Funny story: the first time I made the soup for myself, I assembled the requisite ingredients, chopped the things that needed to be chopped, browned the things that needed to be browned, chucked it all in a pot, and thought, it just doesn’t look right. Because that happens, you know; it’s never the same when you do it yourself, never quite like how Mom made it. But I went ahead and put it on to simmer and wandered off, and an hour later I came back and there was winter soup in the pot.
Soups are like alchemy, as far as I’m concerned. They magically stop being their ingredients and become something else while you’re not looking.
Just as soon as I finish tidying this place up, we’ll get started on the alchemy.