An occasional strike inspired series.
As soon as the strike started, as if on cue those icy cold mornings where your ears sting and you can see your breath started. Last week the mornings were beautiful, all pinks and pastel blues reflecting off the golden dome of Invalides and the point of the obelisk at Concorde.
For me winter is the season of hibernation, hot soups and crusty bread rolls. Each year I discover a soup and then I cook it to death. Pumpkin soup has been my soup of choice of late. I like to add roasted chestnuts and a big dollop of cream. The only problem is that if I buy a chunk of pumpkin it makes loads of soup and as much as I like it after three days I’m a little tired of it.
On Sunday, it was absolutely freezing when I went grocery shopping with soup on the brain. Somehow I came home with enough winter veggies to feed a small army. Still soup is easy enough to make isn’t it?
Butter, you have to start with a wad of it that much or that much, hey whack some more in, it will only make it better. Then onion, I’m pretty sure a good soup must always have onion in it. While the butter and onion are getting acquainted and melting into one choose two veggies. I think two are enough. Do the words sound good together? Leek and Potato? Sweet Potato and Carrot? Parsnip and Carrot. Parsnip and mushroom? Oh no. Beetroot and ... I think that is actually called Borscht, but I’m really not sure about the colour. Once you’ve decided on that you need to introduce your veggies to the butter onion. Once again they all need to get acquainted and mingle in that pot.
Next add the stock – not too much, or you’ll be eating watery soup all week. Add some herbs or spices depending on your mood: mild and mellow or hot and spicy? Bring it all to the boil and then lower it all and let it simmer.
At this time you can let your imagination wander and decide how your main character really wants to introduce himself to the reader. Who is he? What’s been his experience up until the point I choose to put him on the page? How can I let you get to know him and draw you in?
Finally blend it all up and add a dollop of cream to leave you licking your fingers and wanting more.
It seems the mulching, simmering, whatever is over. The first draft of my YA novel has been pulled out from under the autumn leaves and I’m trying to find those two perfect ingredients and herbs and spices. Of course I will add a bit of cream at the end.