There’s just nothing like soup to bring comfort to a chilly day.

Fresh ingredients
Fresh ingredients make the best soups–fresh meats, vegetables, beans, herbs and spices. Even by using leftovers and items in the refrigerator and pantry (some on the verge of spoiling), when you are setting out to make a really good soup, try to use fresh ingredients.

Season well
Soup makes a wonderful addition to any meal, and once you make a pot or two, it’s really not that hard. But the final adjustments are essential. Try to season before the soup hits the table.

Provide garnishments
Some soups are finished with special garnishes or sauces, which allows each guest to create their own dish that suits their particular taste. This night we garnished our soup with cilantro. Often I’ll set out a bowl of sour cream.

How to serve
I love how my friend served each bowl before we all sat down, and then placed a small plate on top to keep the heat in. While we gathered around the table (sometimes it takes a little longer with little kids), as the hostess she didn’t have to worry about the food getting cold.