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RANCHO GORDO SOUP OF THE DAY

"Whenever something went wrong when I was young—if I had a pimple or if my hair broke—my mom would say, 'Sister mine, I'm going to make you some soup.' And I really thought the soup would make my pimple go away or my hair stronger."
—Maya Angelou

It's a strange fellow who doesn't welcome a bowl of hot, delicious soup, lovingly made in a happy kitchen. It's an obvious choice for winter, but some of the world's great soups come from countries that rarely dip into sweater weather. 

This month we honor soup in all its glory, with a special accent on soup made with beans, lentils, and garbanzos. We've gone through our archives, begged recipes from friends, and tested new soups in our Rancho Gordo test kitchen and throughout the month we'll be posting new recipes. 

It's going to be a delicious winter and you will be warm and well fed.

FEATURED RECIPES FOR SOUP OF THE DAY

SHOPPING: SOME GREAT BEANS FOR SOUP

START WITH ONION AND GARLIC

“Soup is the song of the hearth... and the home.” — Louis P. De Gouy

For making soup, we often will start with sauteed onions and garlic. Like so many dishes, this is a great way to start things. Once soft, add some vegetables and then add stock of some kind. Bean broth is a kind of stock and you can use it pure, or cut it with water, chicken stock, or vegetable stock.

If you simmer things too long, they can get murkey and unpleasant but it takes hours to get to that point. On the other hand, in general it's nice to simmer a mix of things for soup for at least 15 minutes.

Beans are a natural in soup, as the base and as an ingredient. Beans and mushrooms; beans and grains like wild rice or farro; beans and chicken or beef; beans and whatever is hanging around in your refrigerator's vegetable bin...there's no limit.

There is no shame in using ingredients just past their prime. That's one of the miracles of soup. Not only is it delicious, but it's practical and you just become a better cook every pot you make.

"Only the pure of heart can make good soup" — Beethoven

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