Smoked Butternut Squash, Sage and Blue Cheese
I would switch on the radio, Classic FM, and place a small bowl of clotted cream down for Pumpkin who rubbed at my ankles. Donning my apron I would set to preparing the daily soup, quietly and methodically. First chopping for the base and then considering for a few moments what else to add. The asparagus I just bought at the side of the lane in bunches? Tapping a freshly boiled egg on the counter, I would peel back the shell under cold water, sink my teeth into the white through to the yellowest yolks and looking out across the sleepy farm, I would make the call.
Beetroot Soup with Feta, Mint and Dill
My day would pass in a blissful peace, except for the wild and tall tales the farm owners would regale me with when they had me alone; trapped in their loveless and fraught bid to divorce themselves from each other, but unwilling to let go of the land and life they had so adored for 25-years. And, on occasion, things would frisk when Rose the pug would escape from her chambers and waddle around the premises with her fat, slug-like body; always on the hunt for forbidden treats. Swooping up her swollen form in my arms, I would whisk her back to the gate while she puffed her hot little breath on my cheeks in protest. She was certainly no Rose, no lady, that's for sure.
Work now is wildly different, rising for a job that I both love and loathe in equal measure and walking down a busy, smoggy London road. There is so much of my life in which to delight, but not the daily grind. I won't choose the Big Smoke forever.
To escape, I make soup just the way I did before, quietly and methodically. My mind goes to a place of solace, away from the city and in search of a better self.
Celeriac, Smoked Garlic, Lemon and Tarragon Soup