by Kimberley Thompson, Tastemaker in Residence
Fall remains my favorite cooking season...simply due to the wonderful hearty dishes that I remember from childhood and recreate for my family today. Nothing says "Welcome" better than a flavorful pot of savory soup slowly releasing its beckoning smells to a nose pinked by a cold, blustery day.
These two soups are particular favorites of mine, easy-to-make, rich-tasting, stretch-able and simple to alter. They also have that immense comfort factor...the tantalizing tease of what's for dinner when you walk in the house...the sense of well-being as your warm hands wrap around the bowl....the curl of fragrant steam from your spoon.
The Vidalias are sliced parchment-thin and slowly caramelizing in butter...the Stilton is crumbled...the beef stock is ready...the parmesan rinds are waiting...2 sprigs of thyme...a bit of real apple cider and a bit more of butter for the stock pot....VOILA! Just an hour away from homemade French onion soup!
French onion soup without homemade croutons? I don't think so..melty, bubbling Gruyere cheese on... garlicky big croutons... I'm saying yummy already!
Next up...German/Polish rendition of "Stone Soup." In reality, this soup was eaten often in the lean, hungry months before spring arrived and supplied fresh bounty, when larders were near empty and cooks put everything together in one pot.