I used to fear it. I would cower in the kitchen, consumed with an overwhelming sense of anxiety. I would buy book after book on the subject, assuring myself that the next acquisition would be my last. What could possibly wreak this much havoc? Soup. That’s right, soup.
This liquid luxury used to be a huge struggle for me. Note the phrase “used to be.” I have since conquered it. As I mentioned before, I assumed that reading multiple soup cookbooks would help get me over this hump. Nope. The real question is, Why did I struggle so much? It seems easy, right? I am and always have been a “by the book,” or in this case a “by the cookbook” kind of cook. At least I used to be. The long list of ingredients and multiple steps daunted and challenged me. Well, that and the fact that I didn’t own an immersion blender. I can’t stress this enough, the immersion blender is the soup-maker’s best friend. Forget about the countertop blender — too messy, too many bowls, and there is a good chance you’ll burn yourself at least once with steam or the soup itself.
This past year I finally got over my soup issues. Now I feel free to play and experiment. A little bit of this. A little more of that. Soups should be fun, highlighting the seasonal produce. But most importantly, they shouldn’t stress you out. Here are my two latest creations. In the aftermath of the heavy, meat-filled holidays, January may be the best month for soup.