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  • January 2012
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Winter Soup Recipes or The Stages of Grief Become Edible

Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Last night, the Steelers lost to the Denver Broncos in the Wildcard round of the NFL Playoffs. A Steelers’ playoff loss means mourning for the city of Pittsburgh and Steeler Nation, and mourning means working through the grieving process. This is a multistage process that we all go through when dealing with loss:

  1. First comes shock and disbelief.
  2. Next is denial, or statements such as “I don’t believe it — ten completions for over 350 yards!”
  3. The third step is bargaining, or making promises such as, “I’ll volunteer at a local food pantry every week if it means the Steelers win it all next year!”
  4. Guilt is next: “If only I hadn’t washed my terrible towel after Super Bowl 43, we wouldn’t keep suffering these crushing defeats!”
  5. Anger is a difficult phase to face: “Come on Ike! I praise your game 24-7 and this is how you do me?”
  6. Depression can come and go, so give yourself time to heal.
  7. Resignation means you have finally grasped the finality of what has happened.
  8. Acceptance and Hope come when you realize there will be a 2012-13 season…but you don’t have to think about that for a while.These are helpful steps to keep in mind, but, it being January and all, I suggest we add another step to this list.

These are helpful steps to keep in mind, but, it being January and all, I suggest we add another step to this list.

9. Eat a bunch of tasty soup, warm up, and move on!

Really, you can add soup to all of these stages of grief and it will help–trust me! So, with that in mind, be sure to check out some of these great books on soup:

50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley – If you want a thick, rich soup, the slow cooker is your best friend. Lynn Alley, author of The Gourmet Slow Cooker, is famous for creating flavorful homemade meals using the kitchen’s most coveted countertop appliance–the slow cooker. This book features combinations for 50 new vegetarian and vegan soup dishes that are as hearty as they are flavorful.

 365 Vegetarian Soups by Gregg Gillespie – I think the title of this one says it all — tasty meals-in-a-pot abound from recipes inspired by regions as far flung as Japan, Italy, Russia, and New Zealand and as close to home as New York, New England and the Southwest. Chase the cold away with Hot & Sour Tofu Soup, Acorn Squash and Apple, and Roquefort Soup with Cauliflower.

 The Big Book of Soups and Stews: 262 Recipes for Serious Comfort Food by Maryana Vollstedt – Here you’ll find 262 comforting recipes for soups, chowders, and stews! From a hot and hearty stew for a cold night to a cool, refreshing Vichyssoise for a sizzling afternoon, there’s a recipe here for every occasion. Also included are nostalgic classics (like everyone’s favorite Chicken Noodle Soup) as well as innovative new creations inspired by the cuisines of the world.

Finally, be sure to try Mark Bittman‘s recipe for lentil soup. MMMMMMMM!

Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 45 minutes

Lentils make soup making easy—they cook quickly and are incredibly tasty. And unlike many lentil soups, which are so thick they put people off completely, this one is nicely balanced with some simple vegetables. The lentils break down a bit during the cooking to give the soup a hearty consistency, but you can purée it if you prefer. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, cut into 1/2 -inch dice

1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2 -inch dice

1 cup lentils, washed and picked over

1 bay leaf

6 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock or water

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt

1. Put the oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, just a minute or two. Add the carrot and celery and keep cooking and stirring until brightly colored and hot, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and stock; sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. (At this point, you may cool and refrigerate the soup, covered, for up to 2 days; reheat gently.) Add more stock if the soup is too thick. Just before serving, taste, sprinkle with salt and more pepper if needed, and serve.

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