When in Doubt Make Soup

In the on-going bean project, I made “White Bean Soup with Pasta and Rosemary Oil” – delicious. No need to soak beans and change water, but instructed by Deborah I covered the beans with hot water while organizing and chopping carrots and celery, parsley and rosemary. The results made me glad for days – sticking to my resolution glad and soup in the house glad.

I thought this post would be about change, since I am in the midst of a computer changeover and nervously awaiting word from the new one that the old one has transferred precious contents. I am so intimate with tech support now, I have the private line of a senior advisor. We’ve enjoyed a lot of quality time, but sometimes he doesn’t call when he says he will. Sad about this and about having to eat scrambled eggs for lunch, there is nothing to do but make soup.

The everyday soup isn’t so fine as soup made carefully from a recipe with special stock – but it is a staple of a good life. This day-in day-out soup is a variation of Deborah’s hearty lentil. The only constants are lentils, parsley, carrots, garlic, and some form of allium. This time I used leeks, but shallots or most usually onions fill the bill. (Sometimes Deborah might not recognize her soup, but I don’t think she’d mind.)

The strength of this sort of soup lies in its flexibility (a worthy attribute) and the easy availability of the ingredients. Lentils wait patiently in the drawer (Deborah suggests the little green French ones). Parsley often survives long into winter in the garden, winter-sweetened kale even longer. Carrots and celery are always on hold in the fridge, cans of tomatoes in the pantry. A divine attribute of such soup is the “tastes better the next day” phenomena. The soup reliably nurtures noon after noon, and dependably provides dinner in a pinch.

Sometimes I pile vegetables on the cutting board as an encouragement, a reminder of intent. (Flexible, reliable, divine, that reminds me of tech support, I better go check the computer’s progress). Then come back to chop, filling cutting boards with vegetables of orange and green, crying over onions, glad to get them sizzling. Eager to get to the simmer.

In a way I love it that our daily soup is different each time depending on the variables – an extra like turnip or rutabaga – or leftover cooked beans!

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