On a rainy and chill night, sometimes all you really want is a heartwarming bowl of soup. All too often, soups are made up of “thrown together” leftovers from the fridge. Sometimes that works, but all too often it really isn’t satisfying. The difference between a lackluster soup and one that is flavorful and sustaining is to consider the fresh ingredients you have on hand and think about the combinations of those ingredients when simmered together. Tonight’s version started (as is usually the case with soup), with a mirepoix of carrots, celery, and onions sauteed together in olive oil. I added a bit of diced fennel as well. After those vegetables had softened, additions of chopped garlic, turnips and potatoes were added to the pot with a bit of filtered water to simmer slowly. And a bit later, the chopped stems, then the greens of rapini were added to the pot and wilted. Enriched with a knob of butter at the end—ahh—just what was needed. Great soup does take time, but usually not as much time as many other dishes. The key is to simmer the ingredients together until each component has contributed its full flavor to the soup. A piece of bread was all I wanted to complete the meal. Later in the evening, I will have the fruit/cheese/nuts plate suggested below as “dessert.”

Winter Potage Chez Edouard
House-made yeast roll

A small plate of apple slices, cheddar cheese, grapes, and walnuts