As the leaves start to whiz around the streets of New York and I unpack my scarves and wool socks, I also start making a lot more soup. That makes me reach back into my treasure trove of food memories. Is it because soup is so comforting — spooned tenderly into our mouths as children, satisfying one-bowl meals as adults — that when I think of soup, I rarely turn to cookbooks and almost always reach way back into my family history for ideas?
This week I thought a lot about a soup my mom used to make when "cold weather" hit our LA house. The "sourgrass" comes from the featured sauerkraut, and it is an early and strong memory of mine to giggle to myself about eating "sourgrass" for dinner. That kraut-y tang permeates the soup in a way that dances with the smoky pork and fills me with comfort. To this day I think there's nothing quite like it.