Friday, November 30, 2012

Making soup

I was listening this morning to "Desert Island Discs" as I was making soup. Here it is at its pre-blended stage. The castaway was Edmund de Waal, the potter and the writer of "The Hare With Amber Eyes" (very interesting indeed). I've seen pictures of the pots he makes and while they're beautiful, they're all pure white and - to me - look a tiny bit ... I hesitate to say boring... but if I were he, I probably couldn't resist the temptation to paint some nice flowers on some of them. (Cf Ikea cushion.) I would have thought that making lots of white pots for the rest of one's life wouldn't provide huge intellectual stimulation but he waxed very enthusiastic about the whole thing and since he's superbright, there's obviously more to it than I understand.

Meanwhile, as I say, I was making soup (yes, sublime to ridiculous; I know) and thinking about how I feel about that. Every week or so I make an enormous pot of soup and eat some every day. The whole family used to eat it but now the children have departed and Mr Life, rebelling after years of consuming vegetarian soup, gets himself tins of meaty varieties instead. This is not so bad now that the council collects the tins for recycling, but it still doesn't seem right to me. Into my soup I put broccoli stalks and cauliflower leaves as well as lentils and courgettes and carrots and onions and leeks and it's economical and healthy. I put the peelings on the compost heap and nothing gets discarded. Of course, I expect that at this time of year some of the vegetables come from overseas so that it's not so morally superior as I think; and I can't really claim ever to have walked past a field in which Scottish lentils waved gently in the breeze; but my soup connects me with my roots, my mother and my granny and generations of broth-boiling ancestors.

Later - completely irrelevantly to the above - Mr Life and I were in the car. "Do you think that van driver's a sailor?" he asked. I couldn't think what he was talking about.

But then I paid more attention. Yes, probably.

Long time bloggy friends may remember that last year, Daughter 2 gave us little gifts for the days of Advent. So we've done the same for her this year. Was this simply to provide me with subjects for December blog posts? Of course not.
And now it's 10 to midnight and I'd better post this before the hour strikes, we all turn into pumpkins and my NaBloWhatever efforts all go to naught. Which would never do.


  1. Well, now it's twenty past midnight and I'm making what was supposed to be a huge pot of butternut squash soup- but the volume has got more squashed than the squash somehow. I had that Hare book. We dreamt of finding treasure.

  2. Oh well done, Isabelle, you did it and very interesting it was too! I have a potato and chard soup burbling away right now and will add some chopped up sausage - an idea for Mr Life for his share?

  3. Well done Isabelle! My, you've got stamina! Will you be keeping up the good work with a Twelve Days of Christmas effort? [So we can all see what goodies you put in the calendar for D2!]

  4. I absolutely adore EdW's pots. I totally get them. There is a calmness about them. They make the viewer quieten and focus. The space in between the pots when they are displayed is as important as the pots themselves. I could go on.... Sorry. It's my inner calm fighting to get out!
    I also totally get lentils!

  5. Anonymous4:50 pm

    Could I come for dinner please ? Looks so yummy.....