Made the first, actually the second batch of soup, this weekend. (The first was in August and it was chock full of summer vegetables so it doesn’t really count). I made chicken corn chowder, an ancient Martha Stewart kids recipe, and in honor of my father who always talked about chicken corn chowder (although I don’t think we ever made it).
Soup always (or has ever since I read the book) reminds me of Kate Dicamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux. My mom gave me the book for Christmas despite my protestations about it being a children’s book. But who could resist a book with this title The Tale of Despereaux being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread? I’ve always loved rodents (I’ve never understood why people are afraid of mice), and the tale of a very small mouse with very large ears who loves literature and music, who isn’t courageous by nature but rises to the occasion and saves the princess appealed to me. And then all of a sudden the book is about forgiveness, and how forgiving someone is hard and doesn’t make much sense, but we have to forgive each other or else our hearts will grow hard. And then soup is more than just soup. Soup becomes a metaphor for grace. And every time I finish the book I think about how God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. I’m not sure if Kate Dicamillo is a Christian or not (although I have my strong suspicions based on her other books as well as this one), but if you get the chance the book is well worth the read. If I had my way, I’d read a chapter every morning in “character education” with my freshmen. It might teach them more than talking about courage or prudery or chastity in abstract philosophical terms.
I hope everyone can enjoy some warm, nourishing soup this upcoming week. I plan on trying two other recipes as well, one is a red lentil soup and the other is pumpkin and black bean with smoked ham. We’ll see how this goes. Usually I feel exhausted by 8 am on Monday morning, but this may be the week in which I recover my strength and start living like a human being again.