Since January is National Soup Month, thought we’d celebrate with a bit of art, a heartening song and a bowl of homemade soup. 🙂
Pictured above is one of my prize possessions — an original Melissa Sweet watercolor I won in a Small Graces auction back in 2010. It all started in 2009 when Newbery Honor author/illustrator Grace Lin donated 11 original paintings to benefit the Foundation for Children’s Books (now Wondermore). In 2010, twelve different illustrators donated their work, and each month a new painting was auctioned off.
Guess what was featured in January? Melissa Sweet’s SOUP painting had my name written all over it and I was thrilled when I won. This piece continues to feed my soul every single day. 🙂
What’s that? You’re hungry and wish you had a nice bowl of soup to slurp right this minute?
All in good time, my friends. Our soup needs a little longer to cook. Besides, I think you should earn your soup, don’t you? A little singing for your supper wouldn’t hurt one bit.
Enjoy John McCutcheon’s wonderful “Soup” — always tasty, uplifting and satisfying. When you hear the chorus, “Smells like winter in our house,” it’s hard NOT to sing along. This is a tune that warms the heart and takes you right back home. Ahhhhhh. SOUP!
words and music by John McCutcheon and Si Kahn
Get off the bus and I can see my breath
Air’s so cold that you could freeze to death
I turn up my collar and the wind starts to blowing
Sky turns gray and it starts to snowing
I put down my head, it’s only two blocks more
Make it to my house and then I open the door
Smells like winter in our house
Smells like winter in our house
It smells like winter in our house
It smells like soup
When my Dad was a kid in my Grandma’s home
She taught him how to start with the old soup bone
You put the water, carrots, celery, and onions in the pot
It only takes a little of whatever you’ve got
“There ain’t no way to hurry it,” my Grandma would remind
“Anything worth waiting for is gonna take time”
All day long I hear it simmering in the pot
Sneak up to the lid, be careful it’s hot
Lift up the corner and I take a little sniff
Close my eyes and take a great big whiff
Go and get a tablespoon, to steal a little taste
I got a big soup smile all over my face
Bean soup, chicken soup with macaroni
Cream of broccoli, minestrone
Potato soup, tomato soup, chowder made of clam
Miso soup, mushroom soup, split pea with ham
Bouillon, scallion, tom kha ghai with lemongrass
Matzoh ball, chilibean, cream of asparagus
So it doesn’t even matter if the cold winds blow
If the rivers freeze and there’s three feet of snow
From my Dad and my Grandma it’s what I got
The put a whole lotta love in that old black pot
In my mind I see a little boy, a distant winter day
He’s standing at the door and I can hear him say
©1995 John McCutcheon/Appalsongs (ASCAP) & Joe Hill Music (ASCAP)
Charlottesville, VA 1995.
From Wintersongs (RR8038)
Wonderful, wonderful happy-making music. Heard recently that John has had to cancel all his January and February tour dates due to illness. If you enjoy his music and want to toss a little love his way, why not pick up a little something from his shop? His most recent CD is Joe Hill’s Last Will, but you can also select any of his other CDs, DVDs, a t-shirt, a book, even songwriting lessons. Think of it like each of his fans adding a pinch of goodwill to a big pot of healing soup. 🙂 Get well soon, John!
TIME FOR PEACE SOUP!
Mmmmm, I think our soup’s ready! Can you smell it? It’s been simmering for just the right amount of time and now with each gentle bub bub bubble it’s eager for us to dip our spoons right in and take a taste. Oh yes, nice, nice soup, come to mama. The recipe for Peace Soup is from Blue Moon Soup: A Family Cookbook (Sky Pony Press, 1999). This oldie-but-goodie gem contains 30+ recipes by Gary Goss, former owner/chef at the Soup Kitchen Restaurant in Northampton, MA.
I confess I purchased the book because of the beautiful illustrations by Jane Dyer. I’ve been a fan of her work since the late 80’s when I saw The Three Bears Rhyme Book (written by Jane Yolen). How could I resist Animal Crackers, the Piggins books, and Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s cookie books? Love love love Jane’s gentle whimsical style. Her nattily attired animals, checkered floors, and dancing fruit and veggies send me into a swoon. I always wish I could live in her enchanting pictures; they represent the idyllic childhood I’ve always dreamed about.
Up until a few days ago, I hadn’t actually tried any of Gary’s soup recipes. I found Peace Soup in the Winter section. I was curious to taste the green soup the handsome lion and adorable lamb were sharing in that warm comfy bed. Yes, there are peas in Peace Soup! But also carrot, celery, onion, butter, milk and curry powder. True to Gary’s signature method, the recipe doesn’t call for any stock. The flavors all come from sautéing the veggies and spices first in butter, then blending them with water and milk. Oh, the aromatic curry and ginger! The kitchen smelled so good while the soup was simmering. 🙂
This is a simple, kid-friendly recipe that makes a nice lunch with a side of crusty bread. I used one teaspoon of curry powder and it was plenty. If you have an immersion blender you’re all set. What a lovely way to take the chill off a winter day. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small leek, chopped (1 to 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint or 1 teaspoon curry powder (2 teaspoons if you love curry)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 10-ounce package frozen peas
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/2 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- garnish: fresh mint or carrot curls
Stuff to do:
1. Melt the butter in a soup pot on medium heat.
2. Add the leek, mint, ginger if using, salt, and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the peas, carrot, celery, and just enough water to cover them (about 2 cups), and stir.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
5. In a blender or a large bowl, blend or mash 2 cups of the soup with the milk until thick and silky smooth.
6. Return the blended soup to the soup pot, and stir.
7. Ladle into bowls and garnish.
makes 4 to 6 servings
ONE MORE SLURP
♥ You can purchase original watercolors and wonderful prints of Jane’s work at R. Michelson Galleries.
♥ Jane is this week’s hotTEA of Children’s Literature!
Tara Smith is hosting the Roundup at A Teaching Life. After you’ve had another bowl of soup, click through and check out the full menu of poetic goodies on this week’s menu. Have a nice weekend!
This post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Put on your best bibs and aprons and come join the fun!
Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.