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Recipes and Stories

5 July 2023: Summer Comfort and Vegetable Soup

First Vegetable Soup of the Summer 2023


When most of us use the words "comfort food" we usually mean something that warms us both inside and out, wrapping us up physically and emotionally. But during the dead heat of summer, when the humidity turns the air into hot mayonnaise, the sun turns the pavement into a short-order griddle, and we're all, as old-guard southern ladies persist in calling it, "glistening," comfort turns ice cold and is served in tall, frosted glasses and chilled bowls.


The irony is not lost on me that two of my own ultimate comfort foods are soups that are at their best in that dead heat, when their key ingredients are at their peak: my grandmother's vegetable beef soup Read More 

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12 August 2022: Late Summer Vegetable Soup

Herbed Late Summer Chicken Vegetable Soup


Perhaps it's the monotonously regular summer menu of salads and cold or room temperature food, but even in the warmest of days, there are times when a hot soup is not only welcome, but the only thing that really satisfies us. There's rarely a summer day, however, when venturing into a hot kitchen to make soup, even a cold one, is welcome.


Luckily, most soups don't take a lot of the cook's time, nor necessarily have to simmer for hours to be good.  Read More 

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1 August 2018: The Joys of Summer Minestrone

Classic Minestrone alla Romana. Summer in a bowl.

In all of cooking, nothing satisfies me in the summer, both in the making and the eating of it, quite the way that a pot of vegetable soup always does. Whether it’s my best shot at reproducing my grandmother’s soup (something I have never quite succeeded in doing) or a classic minestrone alla romana, it’s my idea of the ultimate summer comfort food.

Whenever I manage to get home for a visit, it’s the first thing Mama and I make together. It’s never exactly the same: The base is always tomatoes, onions, and okra, but while she was still gardening, we’d add whatever was ready to be harvested supplemented by the stash from two enormous chest freezers in the garage. Read More 

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