Winter’s here.  Snow, too.  That means comfort food.  Bowls of carb-filled goodness that lower your center of gravity and your stress level.  Stuff like oatmeal, mac & cheese, and soup.  On this snowbound night, nearly the longest of the year, I made a big pot of red soup.  I can’t really give you the recipe because there isn’t one.  It’s different every time.  Call me improvisational.  Call me too lazy to measure.  Just don’t call me late for soup.

Today’s red soup is comprised of roughly equal parts beets, carrots and butternut squash.  (How much?  How much soup do you want?)  It starts with some olive oil and sauteed onion, then in go the vegetables chopped as fine as you have the patience to chop them with stock or water to cover with plenty of salt and pepper.  Simmer a while.  I threw in half a glass of red wine.  When the vegetables are tender, add a scoop of short-grain or sushi rice.  Simmer some more.   Add liquid as needed.  When the vegetables are soft enough, turn off the heat and let the soup cool off enough so you won’t burn yourself when you put it in the blender.  Blend the soup in batches.  I like to blend it twice for extra velvety smoothness.  Eat at room temperature or re-heat.  I garnished with some of the beet greens and sea salt.  Everything’s better with sea salt.