(Be sure to leave your recipe ideas and links in the comment section.)
After graduating from university many (yes, many) years ago, my parents and I set off on a Zimbabwean adventure. At that time, this southern African nation was one of relative peace. While I am distressed to read about the extreme political unrest and violence that currently plagues the country, my mind refuses to allow that reality to shatter the images that are imprinted in my memory. We had the privilege of canoeing amongst crocodiles and hippos (nearly peed my pants on that little jaunt) and watching a baby elephant learning to use its trunk. The women who made their unique rugs, pillowcases, and jewelry proudly sold their wares to support their families and the people were genuinely warm and friendly.
Each time we ventured out to the market, cameras strapped around our necks like good little tourists, we were surrounded by the local people, begging for us to take their photos. Seeing their enthusiasm, we would later develop the film (I told you it was a long time ago) and bring the photos back to the market. As we presented each person with a picture of themselves, our joy was as great as theirs. Many of them had never seen pictures of themselves and could not wait to show them to their friends and family members. So, what does all of this have to do with soup?
One of the reasons for traveling to Zimbabwe was to visit my parents’ good friends (two people who are like another set of parents to me) who worked for the Canadian embassy in Zimbabwe. One of the perks you have when working for the embassy is that you are provided with a chef. From the very first lunch, this culinarily talented man won my heart. You see, he was a master at making soup out of almost anything. Each day at noon, he would serve us a soup that was inevitably made with leftover meat or vegetables from the previous night’s dinner. After being mixed with some well-chosen herbs and spices, the leftovers were turned into something comforting and satisfying.
With the polar bear days of winter (you know, as opposed to the dog days of summer) upon us, my family is craving soups, stew, chili, and curries that warm our bodies.
Below are some of my favorites, but I would love to hear about your favorite cold weather dishes in the comment section. If you have a link to share, please do so. I need all the cold weather dishes I can get!
Soups with Chicken:
Left to right:
Bean & Vegetable soups:
Clockwise from top left:
Chili, Stew & Curry:
Clockwise from top left:
(Don’t forget to head to my giveaway blog for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card and to read about some recipes using Ghirardelli chocolate.)