Buried deep in the fridge, it lives on. Inside a white ceramic pitcher it settles and then begins to seethe. Two weeks later it’s discovered, all visible portions covered is a soft white film of mold. This is the sad story of forgotten soup which a family friend, and wonderful chef, once told me typified her 20s. Every few weeks, or so she told me, she would make a new soup. The soups would vary from week to week and season to season in content and texture, but she always had the next soup in the back of her mind and the previous one in the back of her fridge. It was only when she’d made the soup, and needed the pitcher as a container, that she would realize, once again, that the previous soup iteration had never been finished and was slowly molding away.
I still wonder how she could let her soups go so bad.
My fridge is half-bare, and I make only one dish at a time. Yet, between stacked produce and hefty containers, food gets pushed further from my line of vision until it disappears. Once it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind and presumed polished off, or forgotten. Inevitably, every week or two I am forced to search in the deep reaches of the fridge and discover the remainder of a dish whose time had come and gone. A quick sigh of regret, mixed with relief that it was found at all, and the leftovers are thrown away, the dish cleaned, and the incident forgotten. Yet, there are exceptions to every rule: I have not lost soup deep in the recesses of the fridge.
Soup is too precious a commodity to lose. Soup is perfectly hot in the winter and cool in the summer – and vise versa if so desired – so that it’s just right at every time of the year. Once it’s made, soup can be reheated innumerable times, and develop greater flavor each time. There’s nothing bad you can say about soup, except that it’s gone too soon.
This year, I’ve embraced soup as a full-fledged nutritional meal. Consider this the beginning of a series.