Today Cristina finds soup to be one of the most comforting, complete meals you can have, but she wasn't always so sure: "I can't think of a more perfect meal than a comforting, big bowl of soup. I didn't always feel that way. When I was a kid and it was 'soup night,' I wasn't a happy camper. I wanted to eat pasta every single night, period.
"I do remember, however, when I would come home from school and it was freezing outside (I grew up in Cleveland, so I'm not kidding when I say it was freezing). The minute I walked in the door, the whole house smelled so inviting. The aroma of the fresh vegetables and chicken simmering in a pot put me at ease immediately. It was a warm, comforting feeling that made me happy to be home."
Get Cristina Ferrare's Hearty Vegetable Minestrone recipe
Read Cristina Ferrare's blog on cold-weather soups