Yesterday marked 6 years since we lost Dad. This time of year is always so bittersweet and yesterday was no exception.
Whilst the knife edge pain of immediate grief has mellowed over time, there is still an overwhelming sense of loss and melancholy that creeps to the surface as we approach this anniversary.
Ma and I went out for lunch yesterday and remembered Dad and talked of the future. It was a good thing to do and we both felt better for it.
Today I feel the need to cosset myself a little. I’m doing things in small doses with no specific plans. A little housework that is necessary but also calming. Maybe a little sewing, or if not, I’ve got a sock on the needles. The meditative qualities of tuning round after round of stocking stitch on a sock should not be underestimated at times like this.
It’s also chilly today, and though the sun is making valiant attempts to break through the grey blanket of cloud, it’s not a day for salads. However delicious they may be.
No…today is a day for soup. For raiding the fridge and storecupboards for a few basic ingredients and transforming them into a culinary hug.
For filling the house with the scents of onions, garlic, celery and carrots gently softening in coconut oil.
Then changing that fragrance with the warmth and depth of aromatic spices. Cumin seeds, ground coriander, chilli flakes. A good sprinkle of Maldon salt to bring out all the flavours. A hefty grind of black pepper for another layer of gentle heat.
For adding tinned, chopped tomatoes for a pop of vibrant colour. Homemade chicken stock for a rich deep flavour. Chickpeas and lentils for texture and a soft bite.
The end result is a hearty, healthy, comforting soup that will nourish your soul as well as your body.
How can you not feel cheered by a soup like this?