An ode to soup

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - LIVING - Donna Debs Up­side Down

Even rot­ten cooks have their spe­cial­ties. For me, it’s soup; you can al­ways add a lit­tle wa­ter and throw in a cou­ple of crou­tons. It’s the elixir of my win­ter life, and with the dark months upon us, I thought it wise to re­mind all of us when the go­ing gets icy, windy, frigid, we can toughen-up with a bowl of hot, homemade, ev­ery­thing but the snow, giddy, grat­i­fy­ing soup.

Even a rot­ten cook can make it.

As the Mock Tur­tle sang in Al­ice in Won­der­land, it’s “Beau­ti­ful Soup,” though he may have feared he’d be in the bowl not in front of it.

What’s bet­ter in the bit­ter than to perch be­fore a steam­ing broth filled with any­thing but the tur­tle? Soup makes you sigh, re­lax, re­ju­ve­nate. It en­rap­tures.

For ex­am­ple, I was hav­ing a per­fectly good con­ver­sa­tion re­cently when I men­tioned soup. It was a pass­ing thought and soup was not ma­te­rial to the sub­ject. Yet when I said, “I was eat­ing soup and . . .” my lis­ten­ers showed a level of at­ten­tion I’d been un­able to muster with my pre­vi­ous witty com­ments.

“Can I have that recipe?” some­one chirped. Of course it was for my all-time fa­vorite Asian veg­etable and roasted tofu soup so I wasn’t sur­prised (best soup ever for tur­tle-friendly veg­e­tar­i­ans). Sud­denly I was mes­mer­iz­ing, the cen­ter of at­ten­tion.

The next thing I know recipes for car­rot and parsnip, potato and leek, hearty tomato were leav­ing peo­ple as spell­bound as Won­der­land.

That’s what soup does. It lulls peo­ple into be­liev­ing the world is a good place to live, a place where we share. It ca­resses from the in­side out, makes us strong in the face of mad­ness, cozy in the midst of chilly re­cep­tions piled on top of chilly tem­per­a­tures. Not con­vinced? Soup is fill­ing, su­per nu­tri­tious, keeps you hy­drated, is af­ford­able to make, can help beat the snif­fles, is low calo­rie and high fiber (ditch the cream), is a great way to use left­over veg­eta­bles, is ready to go in a minute if you make a quick batch for the week, is eas­ily freez­able, makes the house smell like fam­ily and friends and great cheer, re­vives you like a hot toddy and a sauna and a bear hug all in one.

No one said it bet­ter than Lewis Car­roll in Al­ice in Won­der­land. As we look for magic in these short days, maybe while cud­dled with an­other fan­tas­ti­cal ad­ven­ture that’s stood the test of time, let’s again pay homage to the au­thor’s de­li­cious muse — soup!

Beau­ti­ful Soup so rich so green, Wait­ing in a hot tureen Who for such dain­ties would not stoop. Soup of the evening Beau­ti­ful Soup, Soup of the evening, Beau­ti­ful Soup. Beau­ti­ful Sou-oop Beau­ti­ful Sou-oop Soup of the evening Beau­ti­ful Sou-oop Beau­ti­ful, Beau­ti­ful Soup. Beau­ti­ful Soup, Who cares for fish, Game or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two

Pen­ny­worth only of Beau­ti­ful Soup?

Pen­ny­worth only of Beau­ti­ful Soup, Beau­ti­ful Sou-oop Beau­ti­ful Sou-oop Soup of the evening Beau­ti­ful Sou-oop

Beau­ti­ful, Beau­ti­ful Soup.

Wish­ing you beau­ti­ful soup this win­ter won­der­land. Es­pe­cially if you hap­pen to fall down a rab­bit hole. Donna Debs is a long­time free­lance writer, a for­mer KYW ra­dio news re­porter, and a cer­ti­fied Iyen­gar yoga teacher. She lives in Tredyf­frin. She’d love to hear from you at [email protected] com­cast.net.

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