I like that it enables me to satisfy my compulsively thrifty side by using up old vegetables. I also like that all the action happens in one pot. You get a nice rhythm of chopping, stirring, sauteing. You can be as involved as you like, tasting and fixing as you go, or you can wander off and check your email while your lovely little soup simmers and reduces and deepens.
Every since I got an immersion blender a few months ago I've been going to town with it. We've eaten all sorts of brightly-hued pureed soups, from asparagus to purple cauliflower. For a non-gadgety person, I'm pretty sold on that thing. But my favorite and most frequently-made soup is minestrone.
I use this basic recipe from Giada de Laurentiis. I'll change it up depending on what's in the house, and I usually add more tomatoes than she calls for. Sometimes I throw in some stubby little macaroni and sometimes I don't. Two things I love about this recipe are 1) the way pureeing some of the cannellini beans thickens the soup perfectly and 2) I get to use a few of my parmesan rinds I've been squirreling away in the fridge.
The husband shakes his head whenever I get to the end of a block of parmesan and gleefully pull out the special square tupperware reserved just for cheese rinds. I know he thinks it's weird. But these little nubs of salty goodness enhance almost any soup. I'll add them to all sorts of things but I'm especially pleased to make an example of a recipe that specifically calls for one.
Last night was a soup night. And in a short while, it will be a soup lunch.