Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mmm, Mmm, Good!

Fall is just a few days away. Very shortly, we'll be turning back the hands of time. For me, it will likely be the last time.* And so, my thoughts turn to soup.

I don't mean that my cognitive function is in such disarray that my thinking is "soupy." Nor am I referring to that edgy, pushy, angry dude of my youth, Soupy Sales. In actual fact, I herein refer to the wonders of tasty, warm, somewhat salty boiled meats and vegetables whose vital essence has joined together in a cacophonous romp of flavour. Easy to eat and universally wonderful with buttered pumpernickel or rye, soup is, in fact, manna.

I'm guessing that just about anything can go into a soup. When my kid was little, we went to a fall park event that attempted to explain through demonstration how it was exactly that early settlers lived day-to day. We we given local ingredients, like potatoes, apples, rhubard, turnips and cabbage, water, a large cauldron-like pot and an area in which to make a fire. Oh, and we had to cut the wood first. And it was chilly and dank. In other words, it sucked to be an early settler BUT there was soup to look forward to. It took about two hours to make it happen but the result was not too different from micro-zapping a Cambell's Soup For One, except it benefited the many, in this case. And it took two hours - did I mention that? But boy, was that a welcome reward. Warm, tasty, filigrees of flavour wafted over our palates as we downed what could have been our last meal. If we were those immigrant-type people. Which we weren't. So, we went to McDonald's afterwards. Just to round it out, you know?

My mother made some killer soups, my favourite being pickle soup. Please don't laugh. Didn't I just ask you not to laugh? Pickle soup is a Polish thing made with chicken broth, potatos, cream, dill and, obviously, pickles.

Hobo Soup is available on-line from The Vermont Country Store.

*(As I'm considering moving to Venezuela, where Hugo "I Got Yer Dic-tater Ovah Heah" Chavez is sending his country back in time by offsetting the clocks back, but by a half-hour.)