When the bright burnished October days give way to gray November, there’s nothing like a bowl of old-fashioned vegetable soup to remind us what chilly days are for. Three ways to make it: Open a can (15 minutes), open lots of cans (about an hour), or start from scratch (all afternoon).

Starting from scratch is a relative term; assume the beef has been slaughtered and the vegetables harvested. Set a large heavy kettle or dutch oven over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Then cut some chunks of fat from two to four meaty soup bones and throw them in the pot to melt. When the chunks are spongy and a thin layer of tallow greases the bottom of the kettle, put the soup bones in. Turn the heat to low and let them brown. Don’t rush—this takes about an hour, turning the bones every 15 minutes or so. Slow browning develops a depth to the flavor that can’t be shortcutted. When the smell fills the house with a rich aroma, they’re done.

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