I’ve been in D.C. for four weeks now and have seen every variety of weather and temperature. From lovely and breathtaking blue days with perfect sunshine, not breaking 70 degrees, to rainy mornings dipping as low as 42. The blooming flowers don’t know what to do. In fact, my mother’s rose garden has yet to show signs of wanting to beautify the front yard. As such, the frequent swings in temperature make it difficult to stick to one menu design, or plan a themed seasonal dinner. One day you’re good with summer-perfect food (insert burgers, grilled steaks, cold salads, etc…) and the next your body is craving hearty, soul-warming dishes.
April normally brings more rain than my wardrobe can handle. On the flip side, this month offers me a consistent schedule to cook more at home. Since I’m usually cooking for others, it’s nice to have some time to enjoy cooking food that make staying in far sexier than getting all dolled up for a night out. Jazzy music, dim lights, aromatic candles, fashion and travel magazines lined up for catching up, leopard print jammies and fuzzy slippers. Yes! Sometimes that scenario is more appealing than any cocktail dress and pearl combo. Those days and nights when the temperature flip flops– gets really hot or cold– and I get to enjoy that vibe of the latter description, mean I quickly conjure up a soup or stew. A stock-based plate is not only easy, uncomplicated and filling, it’s soothing and has feel-good qualities.
They’re versatile, diverse and unbound to seasons. Totally appropriate for any climate change!
Here are are few of my favorite options from my collection of sopitas. En mi casa, these are reserved for those very days when I have time to let great ingredients simmer until I’ve achieved an enviable bowl.
The gazpacho above is chilled, naturally, but so wonderful for warmer days. Any extra heat emitted from the stove is the last thing you need which makes this blender soup a winner. It’s not the most authentic recipe but has the right touch of spice and uniqueness. Of course, you can opt out of the cheese if you’re a traditionalist. I first featured it in my Latina.com column.
Then there’s this impeccable chili. I won’t lie. This right here is too good not to make, friends. Really. The infusion of sage, black truffle oil and the softer taste of turkey makes it an easy option. You’ll want this recipe for cooler days and all of fall. The recipe was featured in my Dean & DeLuca column, exactly one year ago for National Bean Day! So, yeah, go ahead and tinker with it. Just don’t leave the sage out!
This is probably my mom’s best soup, hands down. More than any ingredient, it’s full of super love. Why? Well, she only makes this when one of us is sick and can only take in liquid food. That equates to a huge dose of amor that only a mother can give. No one ever said chicken soup was not good for the soul. This truly satisfies every possible need and cures every mental ailment. My favorite part: the calabaza, or butternut squash. So genius!
This soup option is for the more daring. I grew up eating a lot of canned asparagus soup. Ick, right? But at 6, I loved the smell of it and Mami’s modification always included some fresh chicken stock which depleted the canned taste. Culinary growth and knowledge only results in refinement and sophistication. When I made this white asparagus soup with ginger and grilled shrimp, I only regretted not making it with a protein I actually eat. Fortunately, I had a big bowl before plating and serving it up with the camarones. This is one is also chilled but can definitely be eaten warm.
Don’t let the wishy washy weather and indecisive climate keep you from committing to cooking up great food. There’s always something to compliment the temperature, wether hot or cold. And soup is just the way to go!
* ALL RECIPES ARE ATTAINABLE VIA THE LINKS IN THE TEXT! ENJOY!