I am writing this on what could be an October afternoon rather than July. The light is heavy, and the rain has stopped falling, but is splashed up by the cars that drive past. The breeze coming through the window is heavenly, rain-scented and cool. It mingles with the smell of soup bubbling on the hob which is drifting in from the kitchen. Every now and again Jessica toddles through to see what it is she can hear.
Usually by this time in the year I am making thinner, lighter soups such as watercress or spinach. Today though calls for stoup, soup so thick it is halfway to being a stew.
Monday night has been soup night for a long time now. The lovely Annastasia visits, and we take it in turns to cook. We sometimes branch out, but nine times out of ten, we have soup. The one who isn’t cooking provides the bread, and we have a simple but hearty and really rather wonderful meal. She produces a plastic container from her bag wrapped in a tea towel to guard against spillage, and it is a veritable treasure chest. Her roasted fennel soup is one of the most delicious things I have tasted.
Tonight the stoup is my go-to recipe which is a base of leek, potato and carrot, simmered in stock along with parsnips. Towards the end I’ll shake in some peas, perhaps some sweetcorn or a handful of spinach. I have been known to blend it and then cook some very small pieces of pasta in it, but this evening I am going with the simplicity of the vegetables alone.
I might not be able to make meringue, but soup I can do!