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Serve up warm comfort in a bowl this season
Much like how we layer on warmer clothing moving into a cooler season, so we switch up what we want to eat. Some of that is owed to the fresh ingredients becoming available, but many dishes also are about comfort—food that warms you physically and emotionally. Most often the comfort foods we crave stem from childhood. Those meals that were served up on cold, rainy evenings or lunches after a blustery, hard day at outdoor play.
My Nan used to make a cabbage soup that was amazing, recalls Joseph Thomas, chef at Seasons in the Park. Simple ingredients but full of flavour. Most kids wouldn’t even think about eating a cabbage soup, but I was all over it.
For some, that comfort comes from a recipe that has been handed down through the generations.
My grandma used to make a bean soup and she passed it on to my mom who passed it on to me and my brother, says the Teahouse’s chef Adam Meade. It’s a favourite family recipe.
Family traditions can be as simple as just tweaking a ready-made, store-bought offering.
As a child, my go-to quick preparation soup was Campbell’s tomato soup. After playing outdoor hockey all day, I would get my mother to add crispy bacon on top, says Kim Canteenwalla, the culinary powerhouse behind Parq Vancouver’s many restaurants and lounges such as Honey Salt, The Victor, BC Kitchen, D/6 Bar and Lounge and MRKT East.
Brad Miller, owner and chef of The Red Wagon and Wagon Rouge, has similar fond recollections.
Coming home from school to chicken noodle soup or the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup. Both are very connected to my childhood, he recounts. I knew exactly what was cooking the second I walked in the door from the incredible smell and I felt loved.
BCLiving asked these six chefs to share their favourite comforting soup recipe, so that you can, perhaps, create a new comfort-food tradition at home…
I love squash, root vegetables, apples, pears, nuts, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and, my absolute favourite, quince, says Brad Miller, chef and owner of The Red Wagon and Wagon Rouge. This recipe for parsnip and apple soup is a favourite of mine, along with anything pumpkin for fall.
Gabriella Meyer, chef and partner of Harvest Community Foods, describes this miso squash ramen as a full-flavoured dish with the perfect blend of sweet and savoury: sweetness from the squash, savoury from the miso, and umami from the sesame. This healthy vegetarian noodle bowl is comforting and filling without ever being heavy, Meyer says.
¼ cup soy sauce
Chowder has always been a favourite of mine, says Clement Chan, chef and co-owner at Torafuku and Le Tigre, but growing up in a Chinese family, we mostly ate Chinese food. I would only get to eat chowder when I was out with my friends. When we opened Torafuku, I thought it would be fun to recreate this dish with an Asian twist.
Makes 5.28 quartsThis recipe can be easily halved and/or frozen.
Joseph Thomas, chef at Seasons in the Park, says he’s a big fan of any type of bread as an accompaniment for dipping in soup. I also like serving a side of Brussels sprouts with a soup as they are nice to add to the soup. I call them ‘soup croutons,'” he adds.
The Teahouse chef Adam Meade says that a nice grilled piece of sour dough or focaccia bread would complement the soup. Anything crispy to balance the texture of the soup.
This is Kim Canteenwalla’s (the chef behind Parq Vancouver’s many restaurants) favourite soup recipe. He says that the sweetness of the corn blends well with Dungeness crab. For an accompaniment, he suggests a great baguette, a crusty boule, and most every kind of cured meat.