Whenever I make a big pot of soup, I do so in a cheery lapis Le Creuset that I practically fill to overflow with stock and plenty of veggies and heirloom beans.
But imagine making soup in the striking pot pictured above. Its shape makes it ideal, doesn’t it?
Indeed, it was created just for that purpose, handmade in Columbia from black clay that contains mica, which allows it to withstand a lot of heat, as well as to retain heat.
La Chamba cookware is revered for its beauty and its performance. The unglazed pot can go on the stovetop, in the oven or even the microwave (well, if you’re using a small piece).
Just don’t put it in the dishwasher, though. And before using it for the first time, it must be seasoned by filling it three-quarters of the way with water and baking in a hot oven for half an hour.
Its bulbous shape makes me think of Chinese winter melon soup, a soothing sip if there ever was one.
At Chinese banquet meals, that soup would arrive inside the cavity of the huge winter melon itself, its thick jade-green rind often carved intricately with Chinese characters and its flesh having been scooped into balls or chunks to simmer in the bubbling broth.
My Mom often made a more simplified version in winter fortified with small slivers of chicken that had been coated in egg white to add tenderness.
With its quenching, almost watermelon-like texture, and its mild, subtle natural sweetness, it makes for a soup that goes down comfortingly and easily, and somehow always makes me think of family.
CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a large, 6-quart La Chamba soup pot (a $69.95 value), courtesy of Toque Blanche, a gourmet cookware store in Half Moon Bay, which also has a sister store, Chefworks of Santa Cruz. It is the only direct importer in California that stocks the entire La Chamba line.