Celebrate Thanksgiving Outdoors With Woolen Soup

In case you haven’t noticed, this Thanksgiving won’t be your usual. Pushing a bunch of people into your house is just not an option, but pushing a bunch of people into a four-walled tent is no better. (What good is being “outside” if you are inside a plastic room?)

Luckily, Andrew Zimmern has the creative idea to meet up with friends outdoors, with a concept I call “hump soup.” In our interview with him for The Upgrade, Zimmern explained how he adapted one of his favorite family traditions for These Times:

Back two generations back from the East Coast, our family loved oysters. So, one of the dishes that will be served – he was at the buffet table – was oyster soup. Delicious creamy potatoes, fennel, onions, carrots, celery and oysters cooked in their own liqueur, possibly spiced with a little Old Bay. I think it was my mother’s father’s recipe. Over the years I have used a sleeker and, in my opinion, lighter version. And I put the tureen – electric – by the door. And when people enter the door to my house, everyone takes off their shoes and coats … And I put a mug of soup in their hands; something magical happens when you put a hot mug of soup in someone’s hand.

Obviously, the “people walk in the door” part isn’t working right now, but Zimmern has a clever way to get it out:

If you have five or six family members, get some of them, grab a thermos, pour some soup, and let people walk with a disposable cup – grab a few paper cups and share something hot and warm outside, sit on your step, socially distanced and share the oyster stew together. Do something like this that allows you to be outside, it will be worried, it is in the spirit of the holiday, it will warm you up. Sitting outside, even if New York is 40 degrees, and you are sipping a mug of hot soup … I mean, you will definitely untie your scarf. There is no doubt about that. You can even take off your hat, undo a couple of buttons on your coat. You will get so warm. And I think it’s really nice.

I also think it’s a really good thing to do, and not just because I like to say “stooped soup.” (You can also yell, “This is just soup for my family!” To every passer-by. They may not understand the joke, but this is simply not your problem.)

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