Lentil soup with andouille sausage

1 February 2016
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I’m warming my hands today in the fantasy bonfire I’ve lit to burn the January page I ripped off my imaginary wall calendar. I suppose it’s the jolt of another year gone by, plus my blasted birthday, but January invariably hits me like an avalanche of Mondays. Ooof. But good or bad, moods come and […]

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Carrot ginger soup

24 April 2014
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I came out of my quiet little blogging closet to drum up votes for the Saveur award (I was scared to have a vote count so dismal the Saveur editors would reconsider their nomination, so thanks very much to those of you who took action to my plea!), and now I find it funny that […]

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Turkey chili with zucchini and corn

16 May 2013
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I may have finally convinced my mom that I can cook. This year we’re sharing her kitchen, as I’ve temporarily invaded her house with my family of six. Here she cooks far more than I do, and I’m respectful of her domain. Despite being an admirably easygoing personality, my mom is very particular about her […]

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Ham and cabbage soup

31 January 2013
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I hear what you’re thinking: First she dishes out health advice (bleh), followed by salad (lady, it’s cold out, give me some real food!), and now soup? With cabbage? Enough already! But truly, this soup is no punishment – it’s honest comfort food for dreary days. Technicolor summer calls for bright, gorgeous food. But the […]

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Risi e bisi (rice and peas)

22 February 2012
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It seems like a dish for old folks and babies – a softly comforting thick soup, eaten with a spoon. But in fact risi e bisi (pronounced REE-see ay BEE-see) is a classic Venetian dish, traditionally served to the Doge during the spring festival of Venice’s patron saint, St Mark. Though in modern Italy this […]

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Alice Waters’s carrot soup

1 February 2012
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It doesn’t seem like it could possibly be interesting, or delectable, or surprising: carrot soup, made simply with onion, broth, a bit of thyme and a whole lot of carrots. No ginger, curry or any of your typical carrot soup dress-me-ups. Alice Waters is bold enough to leave humble carrots to stand on their own. […]

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Chinese braised beef noodle soup

19 January 2012
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For Chinese New Year – the year of the dragon begins Monday – I have one more recipe from my mom’s kitchen: a long-braised beef shank cut thinly and piled in a bowl of steaming noodle soup. It’s a celebratory meal for the new year, as long noodles symbolize long life, but it’s also comfortably […]

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Cucumber avocado soup

12 May 2011
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Here in Ohio we went from cold rain to hot mugginess in a few days, and suddenly I feel like becoming a raw-foodist might not be so hard. I lived for roasted vegetables for months during my elimination diet, but now I can hardly bear the heat of incandescent light fixtures, let alone an oven. […]

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Leftover soup

30 March 2011
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Turning so-so leftovers into something different and better is almost more satisfying to me than making something great from fresh ingredients. It pleases my frugal chinese grandma genes, to be sure, but I also find it delightfully magical to conjure up something new from nothing special. I love playing fairy godmother to the orphaned containers […]

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Turkey chili

12 January 2011
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On a cold winter day, there’s nothing better than a hot meal in a cozy bowl. Food in a bowl retains heat longer, and there’s a particular comfort to eating with a spoon. Turkey chili is a staple comfort food in our house. A big pot makes a hearty dinner with plenty left over for […]

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