Thursday, February 22, 2007

Soup's On!

First...I love soup, at least I do this time of year. It's Freezing February here in Toronto, so soup is high on my list of favorite things to eat. Just the wrapping my frozen fingers around the bowl and taking in the delicious aromas sustains me almost as much as actually eating it.

So imagine how excited I was to discover that Alanna over at A Veggie Venture came up with the idea of February being Soup Month. She's posting an ongoing roll of everyone's favorites and they all look delicious.

Instead of creating a new recipe...I'll save that for another day...I thought I'd share this story. Of course there will be a link to the recipe. Have patience or else do what all bloggers do..scroll down!.

When I was growing up my mother made a variety of soups. I loved her cabbage soup with flanken (beef short ribs), but I'm the only one who enjoys it these days, so it's more of a memory. My father loved her bean and barley soup. His favorite quotes..."it puts hair on your chest" (not what his daughters particularly wanted to hear) and "it sticks to your ribs" (whatever that means). But the soup that always warms my heart and brings instant images of holiday dinners and sick beds is her chicken soup with matzo balls. It was only soup served at Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Passover Seders. There was always that excellent chaos of my mother's family (there were 7 brothers and sisters and 18 kids) getting together at my grandparents when I was little and then moving on to my parents. The baton was passed on to me and now, I share the experience with my older daughter Joanna.

Of course the other end of the eating spectrum, with celebrations being at the fun end and sickness at the other also means chicken soup. I can't imagine being under the weather (particularly in cold and flu season) without having some on hand. It's like a kiss on the forehead, making the kid in us all (especially me) feel better almost instantly. Even though my mother passed away years and years ago, she's always there when I whip up a batch. Her matzo balls were hard as a rock. In fact they were always a challenge to cut into without having them fly across the table. Another famous quote from my dad..."you can't go swimming after you eat these". I make them the same way, as does my daughter. I always thought that my mother (a really excellent cook and baker) just screwed up when she first got married and, according to my dad, couldn't boil water and they became a hit. So I was really surprised to learn that that's how my grandmother (and all my aunts) made them as well. This family tradition started back in Russia before my grandparents immigrated to Canada in the early 1900's. But enough talking.....I'm going to whip up a batch right now.

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s'kat said...


I just posted a chicken soup-matzoh recipe to Alanna today! Great minds and such.. I just love the addition of dill in it as well.

Really, there is nothing better when you're sick.

Alanna Kellogg said...

Hi Ruth ~ Is it a good thing for matzoh balls to be as hard as rocks? Thanks for the story and soup, a great addition to Soup's On.

Ruth Daniels said...

S'kat - there is only one thing better than chicken soup when you're sick...that's having someone else make it for you!

Alanna, lol - in our family it's a good thing, but like any recipe, everyone has their own opinion as to which is "correct".

Thanks for dropping by and adding us to Soup's On.

Melting Wok said...

hey ruth, hope the weather has gotten better by now. We had some rain over here in So California too. Some of that warm soup sounds good right about now, cheers !:)