Wednesday Food: An Ode to Soup
My favorite thing to eat, maybe ever, is soup. Over the past couple of years this delightful dish has gone from occasional treat to necessary repast. As a matter of practicality I often make 2-3 gallon batches so that I can rely on a spectrum of frozen quarts and half quarts at any given time.
Why is soup such an incredible incarnation of food? Your guess is as good as mine. It arouses the olfactories while cooking– the whole kitchen smells edible– it can be prepared sloppily or masterfully, the outcome plebeian or regal (though peasants were really the masters of soup-making). It always improves the longer it is stored. Its best friend is bread. The satisfaction of consuming it is accompanied by feelings of nourishment and comfort. Identical recipes never taste quite the same as the ripeness of the ingredients married with seasoning always produces distinct flavors. Hot, cold, purée, consomée, chunky, goulash, chowder, bisque, cream of, potage, stew: a rainbow of modifiers to yield results for any occasion or mood.
Pictured is an Irish beef stew I have repeatedly made. Using this recipe, I substitute 12 ounces of broth for a bottle of Guinness or other mild stout, and use it to deglaze the pan. The best pairing is whatever beer you’ve added to the recipe, or something slightly more intense, for example New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk.
However you like it, soup is one of those dishes that separates man from beast (unless there’s beast in your soup).
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