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Soup Weather (part two)

The Arctic comes to Chicago...but no polar bears in sight.

I started my series on delicious soup recipes that you can easily make at home when late fall arrived and the outdoor temperatures were becoming cold.

Today we are facing temperatures at least one order of magnitude colder.

It's about 7 degrees out there this morning, but the wind chills are fierce, and the temperatures are going to drop all day and into the night. Wednesday will bring daytime highs of about -12 to the Chicago area. These are dangerous temperatures that can rapidly cause frostbite on exposed skin and breathing problems in people with lung disease. Everyone who does not have to leave home for work, school, or a medical emergency should stay at home.

While spending the day indoors, cooking can warm you up and make your day brighter. Just having the oven turned on as part the soup preparation will warm your kitchen and take the chill out of your home.

A beautiful pot of soup, calling out to us.

Yesterday, I started preparing for the ferocious temperatures ahead by making a hearty pot of Italian Wedding Soup. With the meatballs, spinach and orzo pasta, it turned into a meal in a bowl, and warmed my husband after he spent 20 minutes shoveling snow off of our deck. I based my own soup-making on Ina Garten's recipe, with a few changes:

I did not add garlic, of course. I substituted 85% lean pasture-raised ground beef for the ground chicken and sausage.

Perfect for this (nearly inhuman) weather

This Italian Wedding Soup ( here's the interesting origin of it's name, according to Wikipedia: The term "wedding soup" comes from the Italian language phrase "minestra maritata" ("married soup"), which is a reference to the flavor produced by the combination/"marriage" of greens and the meat) filled us up and kept us warm last night. I made enough to enjoy it again tonight, when the windchill will drop to Arctic levels. We midwesterners may be tough, but a bowl of warm and fortifying home-made soup can only strengthen us.

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