Soup and Weather

Houston has been catching up on rainfall and autumn weather.  A good time to pull out the stockpots and make batches of hearty soups to take the chill out of our Southern bones.

My mother made the most amazing beef vegetable soup.  We lived very frugally with her small teacher’s salary, and nothing was wasted.  Leftover beef and vegetables were frozen until she had enough ingredients for a batch, then it all went into a large stainless steel pot.  We didn’t often get roast, but those leftovers or hamburger meat formed the base of the soup.  Onions, green beans, tomatoes, and perhaps purple hull peas went in and were slow simmered to perfection.  She’d make skillet cornbread, only using yellow cornmeal, never white, and always with bacon drippings.

I felt like royalty with a bowl of that soup and a slice of cornbread, slathered with margarine.  Sometimes I’d crumble the cornbread in, making a mush, and savored every spoonful.

For my under-the-weather hubby and vegetarian son, I made soup yesterday.  As usual I made them too full of vegetables, but they tasted good on a chilly November night.  Spinach, onion, carrots, potatoes, diced tomatoes went into each batch, with ground turkey and chicken stock for the omnivore, vegetable stock and garbanzo beans for the vegetarian.  They were satisfying with chunks of buttered French bread.  Still, I would’ve loved a big bowl of Mother’s soup better, accompanied by a big slice of skillet bread.

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