Recipes and Stories

19 August 2018: MaMa’s Vegetable Soup

August 18, 2018

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Classical Southern Cooking, Vegetable Soup, Southern Vegetable Soup, MaMa, MaMa's Vegetable Soup, Classic Italian Cooking, Minestrone alla Romana

MaMa's Vegetable Soup, photographed for my first book, Classical Southern Cooking, by the incomparable John Carrington.
If my entire life as a cook could be summed in one thing, it would be a lifelong—and so far—failed quest to reproduce my maternal grandmother’s summer vegetable soup. Her kitchen was where I first cooked, and we made many a pot of vegetable soup together during my summer visits. The memory of its taste remains vivid more than half a century later. But somehow, I’ve never been able to get my own to taste and look exactly like hers.

When I was trying to construct a recipe for my first cookbook, in her typical way, MaMa said, “I never measured anything for soup, so just guess.” Well, of course, she measured— (more…)

8 July 2016: Old-Fashioned Hambone Soup

July 8, 2016

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Hambone Soup, Southern Vegetable Soup

Old-Fashioned Hambone Soup
We just never know where a simple pot of soup might take us—or when it will suddenly bring us back.

It’s a funny thing about our tastes (and by that, I don’t mean our perceptions of flavor but our preferences for it): they’re an odd mix of innate likes and dislikes and cultural conditioning. (more…)