I am drinking lavender white tea, listening to what sounds like a young parrot learning to form words out in the orange tree, though that surely isn’t possible, and contemplating soups.
I have pulled out both the Greens cookbook and Twelve Months of Monastery Soups. I am drawn by fresh pea soup with mint cream, spinach soup with Indian spices, corn and green chili chowder, roasted eggplant soup with saffron mayonnaise, and yellow split pea soup with spiced yoghurt; Soupe Pelou with radish greens, a soup of orzo, marjoram, and green peas; spicy carrot and orange soup, and simple chervil soup.
Remembering the monastery and its soups, I laugh again at how at the St. Bernard hospice during our stay there for archaeology, all leftovers made their way into the next day’s soup pot, and how delighted I was at what seemed to be cream of spaghetti.
I remember eating a very English pear and celeriac soup in the old coach house on Hampstead Heath, one unusually warm January; and much more recently, an oyster stew in Pt. Reyes on a rainy June Sunday, with tarragon, leeks, mushrooms, red potatoes, and Swiss chard. And then the transcendent beet soup at Green Gulch (much purpler than this), too beautiful a color to dilute with crème fraiche, despite the flavor.
I remember taking to heart the childhood story of stone soup, that inspiring folk tale of cooperation, sharing.
And now . . . off for a soupçon of lunch—maybe clam chowder or Tuscan white bean.
image: Redbedesuppe, Cyclonebill