Inklings

The soup

I don’t get hangry, necessarily, but when I’m hungry for more than a few minutes, my mind gets a little… fixed. I have been known to break out into spontaneous song about how much I want food. In this determined state of mind, almost anything will do, but if I have a weakness (aside from cheese… and bread… and chocolate) it’s soup.

Soup, joy to my tummy, warmth to my body. My sip, my soul. With fresh bread: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of delight for my palate to stop, transfixed, at the taste. S-o-u-p. It’s broth, plain broth, at the beginning, pooling clear and golden in the pot. It’s chicken noodle when I’m sick. It’s chunky potato for the fall. It’s French onion in restaurants. But in my mouth, it’s always delicious soup.

While I have long been a soup appreciator, I’ve only recently become a soup fabricator (aside from years making the canned stuff. That has its place, but it gets better). One of my new favorite smells is onion and celery being heated in butter, and one of my major learning-how-to-cook-like-a-grownup successes has been making homemade chicken stock.

I don’t know what it is about soup. On the one hand, it’s rich and warming–you can practically feel it nourishing you. On the other, it’s humble, simple, just a few elements heated together in liquid. Somehow, their essences combine yet remain distinct.

Few things get me poetic as food does. Maybe it’s how the rich simplicity of the best foods can make you think about how life is like combining the ingredients of what you know and trying to make the best possible thing out of it.

Or maybe it’s suppertime.

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