It strikes me that I never really got soup before I got God. As I sat eating soup today, during this Lenten time of fasting, where we are serving mainly simple meals, I had a lightbulb moment. I never previously used to understand the point of eating a meal that, although nutritious and delicious, never filled up my stomach unless accompanied by half a loaf of bread. Now, savouring every bit of taste and flavour, allowing the hot meal to soothe my soul and distribute good things to all parts of my body (over time), it made sense - I may not be cramming my stomach full of stodge and feel complete, but I'm restoring my body with what it needs. Sort of like feeling life is full when you focus on the wordly, when really, it's the spiritual stuff you are actually crying out for, no? (Or Chicken Soup for the Soul, as somebody may have mentioned already somewhere.)
I must say, if these Takes are maintaining a soupy theme, that I was imbibing Abel & Cole's delicious Potato and Cauliflower soup at the time, that arrived yesterday with a selection of organic meat, fruit, and vegetable boxes. I didn't plan to take on these boxes during Lent in particular, it just kind of occurred, but it's been helpful in ensuring I'm taking the good stuff into my body, physically, while my morning Bible time and weekly study group keep on with the spiritual. I'm also trying to move my laptop onto the top floor so writing and reading is reserved for down time, rather than present in the day's activities. That's proving a little trickier....
I've also been practising making chicken broth this last month, from the carcass and giblets of the whole chicken I roast and already make into a leftover meal and sandwiches. The first week, it looked delicious, so I pureed it so the kids might try it without picking out the vegetables, and it looked like vomit, so I didn't even serve it. (I think I pureed up a few bones in there, so I was desperately searching on Google for 'can humans eat chicken bone' while my 7 year old peered over my shoulder trying to find out why I wanted to know this.) The second time it was quite fatty, but I managed to skim off a lot of it using squares of kitchen towel, after more internet inspiration.
Anyway, the next time I make chicken soup, I hope to have in my possession a strainer which will separate out the fat from the stock from one of my favourite stores, Lakeland. I honestly don't know what I would do without this shop - it markets all sorts of things I anticipate I will never use, but also lots of handy, amazing things. I have also got to choose some new plastic boxes for my husband's packed lunches, something I am positively excited about, which demonstrates how much Lakeland means to me!
I also made butternut squash soup this week, from the simplest of recipes, which we also use for pumpkin soup. Which reminds me of First and Second sister's favourite books, Pumpkin Soup and a Pipkin of Pepper, which are highly recommended for the under-fives, and I can't wait to introduce to Third Sister.
If I were American, I'd possibly include a paragraph here about 'Souper' Tuesday, but as I am not, I won't, although my specialism for my Politics A-Level was US Government and Politics, and I am still interested :-)
I think that's probably it from me on soup, so I am going to big up once more the Veggie Tales series - most of whom, let's face it, feature in my minestrone - which my kids are going to be watching at home on Sunday morning while I take in two morning services at a parish in the city centre with a friend. Which will hopefully be chicken soup for my needy soul :-)
* with thanks to Jen Fulwiler @ ConversionDiary.com for hosting - head over there now and read a whole load of other Quick Takes!