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Quote of the Day: Robin Mather

February 11th, 2012

Having done all the needful things to ready the house for the coming winter, I had time to relax, to reach for my knitting needles or spinning wheel or that book I’d been meaning to dive into. No longer busy with the work of putting food by, I could settle in and enjoy the leisure I earned in those long summer days of hissing kettles and canning jars. By recalibrating my life to a more natural rhythm, I found an instinctive understanding of the old agrarian ways, when winters were slower and more peaceful. Winter was the season of reflection, I had come to see.

Robin Mather (The Feast Nearby)

At the moment, I’m certainly enjoying the fruits of my labor for the time I spent over a hot canning kettle this summer canning up jars of tomato soup. Somehow I haven’t yet found that down time that I find most winters. I do suppose that the sun setting earlier in the evening makes me slow down a bit. At least the tasks I do in the winter are less strenuous than the ones I do all summer long, so my body does get a bit of a break.

Canning isn’t something I spend much time doing in the summer, preferring to focus on vegetables that store without processing, but tomato soup will always be on my list. There really is nothing better than sitting down to a bowl of steamy tomato soup on a cold winter evening, add a grilled cheese sandwich on the side and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal!

What’s your favorite kind of soup to enjoy on a cold day?

15 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Robin Mather”
  1. Pearl on February 11, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Love love soup on a cold winter day. Chili is probably my all-time favorite, but I enjoy making all kinds. I’m just leaving for work but I’m making stuffed pepper soup when I get home! Yum!

    Reply to Pearl's comment

  2. Jennifer Fisk on February 11, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I think my favorite is Borchst. My son, who is living in Siberia, gave me his recipe and I love it. I call it the ultimate diet food as it is filling, satisfying with not a huge number of calories.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  3. The Minnesota Farm Woman on February 11, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I love any kind of soup, but my favorite is beef with barley. Hearty, filling, and comforting. The other thing that I do whenever I make soup is soemthing that my mom always did….saltine crackers with a slice of cheese, broiled until melty. It really brings me back…..

    Reply to The Minnesota Farm Woman's comment

  4. Andrea Duke on February 11, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I have been making a soup this winter that I throw together and reminds me of pasta e fagioli.

    I take sausage and brown it with garlic and onion, then add it to a few jars of tomato juice,cherry tomatoes and beans or macaroni pasta. Add some dried herbs and that’s it.

    Other than the macaroni and beans, it’s all grown by me, or very local, with the sausage from a friend.

    I froze a lot of cherry tomatoes this summer, both sliced and roasted and just whole ones, so I’ve been using them a lot. I know some people don’t like the skins, but they don’t bother me too much and I love that I can grab a jar or two from the freezer and add to something, plus so easy to preserve, which in the summer is a good thing!

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  5. Victoria on February 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Since we grow our own and are members of a CSA, I can quite a bit. This morning I’m breaking out some of last years tomatoes to make my knock-out marinara. It’s amazing how a little bit of summer is still within the jar.

    My fav cold day soup is tomato soup as well, though I like mine with a little bread added in.

    Reply to Victoria's comment

  6. Joan on February 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

    My favorite is a soup called Creamy Winter Grain. It’s chock full of hearty grains and root vegetables, along with some cream cheese and sour cream (I usually just replace both of these with homemade yogurt). It’s a great soup on a cold day.

    I love the idea of canned tomato soup, so that you always have it handy without having to cook individual batches. The last three years I’ve had tomato blight though, so haven’t had enough tomatoes to can any at all. They’ve been sadly missed! This year I think I’ll plant some very early tomatoes, in my low tunnels to give them an even earlier start. Maybe I’ll be able to beat the late blight, and try your soup recipe!

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  7. Nebraska Dave on February 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Susy, soup is one of my main dishes in Winter or Summer. It’s a perfect meal all in one bowl. Most of the canning I do involves soup or stock to make soup. My favorite ingredients for soup are potato, beans, or rice. Every thing else just makes it better. Tomato soup and grilled cheese is a great combination that’s hard to beat on a chilly winter day. Another good thing about soup, is that if the power goes off for an extended time, soup can be eaten cold. It’s not the best but it’s something that can get me through the power outage.

    Spring is only 37 days away. I’m really excited about my gardening expansion this year.

    Have a great slowing down winter day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  8. cecilia on February 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I make a butternut squash soup throughout winter that is wonderful. We never tire of it, which is good, since I usually have a ton of butternuts! The two soups I make in the summer and then freeze for our winter enjoyment are a roasted tomato garlic and a spicy vegetable/black bean/corn/cuminy catch all soup. mmmm…now my mouth is watering!

    Reply to cecilia's comment

  9. KimH on February 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Today is a day perfect for a pot of soup.. Its cold, cold, cold, and the snow is coming down like gangbusters..

    I have 3 most favorite soups and cant decide between them… French Onion, Cauliflower Bisque, and turkey/chicken vegetable & rice..

    I got a canner late in the fall so was able to can quite a few jars of turkey, vegetable, & rice soup this year. Usually I put serving size containers in the freezer, which is what I’ve done with the Cauliflower Bisque & Onion soup in the past.
    I think I’ll try to can some of the other two (minus the cream in the bisque) this year & see how it goes.. Im loving the thought that my foods can be shelf stable, and its so awesome to take a jar of soup to work on a day when I dont have anything planned for lunch, or on a day I havent prepared anything for supper. ♥

    Reply to KimH's comment

  10. Brandee on February 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I just love Ms Mather’s book. I have reread it several times since purchasing it.
    As far as winter soups, I have to say chili is my favorite. Thick with beans and beef, and tomatoes…not too hot. Topping a bowl with cheese and onions is perfect.

    Reply to Brandee's comment

  11. Arika on February 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    My favorite is any kind of potato soup. Something so hearty and filling about potato soup, and it takes that winter chill away!

    Reply to Arika's comment

  12. daisy on February 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Your combo is a favorite. I will be making a white bean soup tomorrow, as it is supposed to be in the 40’s. Cold for us. Enjoy your lovely homemade tomato soup. Stay toasty!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  13. Sincerely, Emily on February 12, 2012 at 11:46 am

    My favorite at the moment is vegetable beef – only because that is what I canned and have on hand for a quick meal. I love so many soups. Pumpkin/squash with caramelized onions on top. Chicken, noodle, veg. Potato, corn bacon chowder. I guess I don’t have a favorite. Canning the soup is the key for me to keep store bought canned soups out of the house. It is a wonderful change. I best get at canning up some chicken/veg soup for some variety!

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  14. Bethany on February 20, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Susy, I was wondering about how many pounds of tomatoes you can in the summer. I love having canned tomatoes, but I never seem to put enough aside. I have 5 more jars left and I keep them for special occasions.

    Reply to Bethany's comment

    • Susy on February 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

      I don’t really have a set amount. Most of my tomatoes are dried with some canned as soup and some as diced tomatoes. It really depends on how big of a harvest I have.

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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