Summer is gone and the winter months are fast approaching. The days are shorter, and with that, our appetite keeps growing.
Why is it that when it gets colder and darker, we feel like eating more? It is probably our body burning more calories to keep us warm. But I could be wrong.
Last week was one of the coldest weeks, at least for me. I felt like eating soup. A dark, rich and creamy liquid full of nutrition. I was following a recipe from my Culinary Arts class, and even though I did not have all the ingredients, I added some of my own. I was making Minestrone Soup.
Once I started making it, the soup turned into a red liquid and it surprised me. I have never seen or had this soup before, so I did not know what to expect. Later I realized that the color was from the tomato paste that was burning at the bottom of the pot. I added the vegetables and cooked them in the homemade chicken stock that I have made weeks before. I only had black beans at home, but I could not add them, I was afraid my soup was going to turn black. Instead, I added a shredded chicken breast that I had in my fridge.
After about 30 minutes, the soup was done and ready to be eaten. I waited for it to cool down before serving it and am glad I did. The flavors had come together, and I could taste every one of them. I served the soup with crumbled crackers, Asiago cheese and red pepper flakes.
The shredded chicken breast gave it a cream-like consistency while the red pepper flakes mixed smoothly with the sweetness of the tomatoes. The Asiago cheese highlighted the chicken flavor from the stock and the crackers combined with the vegetables made me feel like I was having al dente pasta with tomato sauce.
The warmth of the soup reminded me of home. It made me think about going to my grandmother’s house on Sundays and having soup for brunch. That night I had two bowls of soup. I was satisfied and was ready to lay down in front of the TV. This is how comfort food should make you feel.