One of the more famous comfort foods would be soups. A warm bowl of soup on a cold, furious or snowy weather is the perfect antidote to all the gloom. It’s like a loving snuggle or a burst of sunshine with rays strong enough to melt the icicles gathering on the eaves of the house. Hot and flavorful soup beats the cold mist with steam, fogging up eyeglasses as one nurses spoonful after spoonful of the broth. Soups recipes bring about this cheering feeling, reflecting the care the cook nurtures a pot of broth or stock, with which most great soups start out.
Hot soups can be as hearty as the ingredients you put on the pot. Meat, poultry and seafood provide the much-needed protein in both the broth and as main or supplementary ingredient. Vegetables, herbs and spices contribute vitamins and anti-oxidants that give soup its medicinal properties. In fact, in Chinese herbal medicine, soup with special herbs and ingredients are often prescribed to cure an illness or malady. Perhaps that’s why chicken soup is often given to those with colds and flu.
A delightful broth is made from simmering special ingredients matching to the soup recipes. For chicken soup, the cook boils either the whole chicken, its bones or just parts of the chicken. Vegetables are added into the stock for more flavor. Same goes for making beef, fish and vegetable stocks. Other ingredients that can be added after the whole soup is made include pasta or noodles, common in Asian style soups.
While meat is standard in soups, there are also all-vegetable soups. Try the Austrian cabbage soup, barley vegetable chowder (a thick soup with seafood or vegetables), or the more colorful carrot soup or corn soup.
Soup recipes also tend to be thin and watery. But if you want something a bit richer, try the thick and creamy soups. Examples include cream of cauliflower, artichoke, pea and vegan broccoli-cauliflower. There are also nut soups like the African peanut soup and the chestnut soup.
While soups recipes is ordinarily regarded as hot and cooked in boiling temperatures, there are also cold soup recipes that bring the same comfort. But they are more stimulating because they are served chilled. After cooking briefly in heat, this kind of soup is allowed to cool because the flavors come out more in that temperature, as well as the ingredient itself. Classic cold soups are tomato or fruit-based. Try the blueberry soup thickened with tapioca or the berry buttermilk soup which combines the tanginess of both berries and buttermilk. The chocolate soup is pretty much like hot chocolate but this one is served chilled, prepared with dark chocolate, milk and cream with cinnamon for that special taste.