I got up this morning intent on making that soup I put off yesterday. I think it was the sight of the icicles hanging from the magnolia outside my window that drove me to the kitchen. I would make a Minestrone soup. But did I have all the ingredients? Straub’s Grocery is three minutes from my condo, (if I catch the three stoplights), but I wasn’t about to risk going out if I didn’t have to.
I opened the refrigerator door and starred into the abyss of assorted leftovers. Let’s see. . . onion? Check. Carrots, check. Celery, potatoes, spinach, all right. Drats! No leek or zucchini. Still I was not to be deterred; I’d add extra spinach or green beans. In the cabinet, I found tomatoes, chickpeas, vegetable stock, but no cheese tortellini. I’d use tubetti.
Hmm. . . what about the Parmesan cheese rind and pancetta, the flavor essence of this recipe I was wanting to make. I scoured the deep freeze and found some hidden pancetta. I even came upon a bag of caramelized onions I didn’t know I had. (I brought those to the surface for easier access later.) In the very bottom of the freezer, was a small packet of parm rinds that, like bay leaves, add an extra dimension to any soup. I had enough ingredients. I was cookin’!
This soup doesn’t take long to make, about 45 minutes, so it should be ready in time for a late lunch. I even have a chunk of sourdough bread to go along.
What is it about cold weather that inspires us to cook. . . and eat . . . and eat? It must be some prehistoric instinct to preserve body fat during an Ice Age—or even an Ice Weekend. If I have to stay in, it’s good to have a hearty bowl of soup, a crust of good bread, and online friends to share my thoughts with.