My sous chef, Paul Buscemi, and I love to make soup and fight over who will get the job for the day. Other members of the staff like to cook soup, too, but we are reluctant to give them up because they are so satisfying to make and to eat.
Too often soups are made with tired old ingredients that can’t be used any other way—sort of refrigerator remnants. No wonder the result is terrible. If the ingredients are not good enough to cook for their own sake, they are not good enough for soup. Winter tomatoes won’t make a tomato soup you want to eat. Bitter cucumbers, limp zucchini, starchy peas should go into the trash, not into your soup kettle.