It’s raining in LA.
In fact, it’s been raining in LA since about Friday. Wet. Cold. Rain. As a New England-er I shouldn’t be so put out by this. (Especially since my in-laws are on day 5 without electricity toughing-out New Hampshire’s ice storm.) But let me assure you it is quite easy to get accustomed to 70 degree sunshine 12-months of the year.
In truth, I love the rain. But I prefer the kind that comes in the depths of summer, that stirs-up the musty smell of dirt and just-mowed grass, that makes you want to run through puddles barefoot. Today’s kind of rain — the windy, damp kind that brings 45 degree temps to my coastal street, and heavy snow at 2000 feet — is the kind of rain that makes you want to pull on your favorite sweats, curl up on the couch with a good (cook)book, and make soup.
So, I did just that. The best thing about making soup is that you really don’t need a recipe at all.
- Grab a nice big pot.
- Saute some onions and maybe some carrots in a bit of olive oil.
- Throw in whatever you’ve got hanging out in the pantry – beans, potatoes, pasta, squash. (I was recently delighted by the variety of Trader Joe’s 17 Bean and Barley mix.)
- Now see what’s lying around the fridge – tomatoes, zucchini, greens, some herbs.
- Add some liquid – stock’s nice, but water will do.
- Let it simmer.
- Depending on the ingredients, smooth it out with an immersion blender – but only if you wish.
- Serve it up in deep bowls, maybe topped with a little olive oil and some nice grated Parmesan.
- Dust off an old movie, a favorite book, or round up your kids and re-tell the tale of the two beggars in Stone Soup.
- Savor every moment of the comfort and warmth this little bowl provides you and your family. And don’t be surprised to discover it’s even better tomorrow.
And when the rain stops, soup may still be your family’s security blanket. As Ad Age reports, selling soup is the number 1 recession-proof marketing strategy.