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Ahhhh, nothing hits like the first spoonful of hot soup on a cold day. Growing up, a myriad of soups brought me immense joy and coziness during the frigid months. I’ve enjoyed them all, from your classic chicken noodle to Italian wedding, a nice veggie lentil to creamy tomato, and especially my mom’s famous egg and tomato soup. Sometimes, I’m in the mood for a more clear and liquidy moment, but other times I need the hearty thickness of a good clam chowder or broccoli cheddar. The good news is, there’s always some kind of soup that’ll satisfy any craving. And as the weather takes a turn for the crisp and biting, it’s customary to indulge in endless bowls of said savory goodness.

Soups have existed for thousands of years, understandably because the act of boiling water and adding ingredients to create a nutritious stew isn’t the most revolutionary concept. Around the time that mud vessels and clay pots were invented is when soups really became a thing, and from then on, experimenting with all sorts of flavors and ingredients was the name of the game. Once considered a dish for poorer classes without the means to cook abundant meals, soup is now rightfully enjoyed as a gourmet yet homey dish all around the world.

The beauty of soup is that it can take a million different forms. Every culture has their own take on it, and each will give you a taste of that culture’s history. Writing this, I’m dreaming about the rich vegetables of a simmering minestrone, the coconut essence of a tom kha gai or the silky rice noodles of a huge bowl of phở. There are even cold soups as well, like vichyssoise, which seem a little off-putting to me but I might be willing to give one a try.

As a kid, congee was a staple in my household. The Chinese dish is made by boiling rice in a surplus of water and turning it into a porridge-like consistency. The soft texture, chopped bits of beef or pork and pickled vegetables acted as a blanket for me every time I was deathly sick or just needed some foolproof comfort.

All of this is to say that, there’s never been a problem that a steaming bowl of broth, vegetables, meat, grains, and a boatload of spices couldn’t solve. To commemorate the healing experiences that soups give us with every bowl, allow us to serve you a piping hot selection of soup tattoos that’ll make you feel right at home on the bitterest of days.