The autumn and winter's lengthening evenings seem to nibble up the shorter days. Leaves slalom from branch to ground as frost russets the garden's greenery and tatters the last of the roses.
We sigh as we resurrect favorite nubby sweaters, still smelling of cedar. As lovely as fall is, no one thinks of the coming of winter's dark and cold as positive virtues.
Yet the season's blessing is this: We need to know the darkness, cherish the cold, to appreciate the treasure of staying snug and cozy by the fire.
On such nights, what's best for supper is soup. Soup soothes and strengthens us for the fray; it warms hands, heart, and belly. Serve some hand-hewn rustic bread alongside to fill in the chinks. A meal as satisfying as that is just another gift of this brisk, beautiful season.