To make a good soup, the pot must only simmer or “smile”.

The aftermath of an intimate family weekend filled with sunshine, forest walks and market visits reveals that I talked and drank too much whilst omitting to take any pictures of the multitude of good things that I cooked for our pleasure. Not a cardinal sin, as I took good pictures of our children and grand children. However, the dishes that I cooked during that idyllic weekend are no more, save for the carcass of a toothsome roast chicken, the flesh of which disappeared as if by magic, as did a pyramid of crisp edged roast potatoes that had been cooked in goose fat. The same fate befell a tagine, a parmigiana, a thin apple tart and a pile of crisp meringues.This morning the rain was beating a tattoo on the windows of the house, which wintry sound demanded the cancellation of all expeditions and the comfort of good soup. The house is now quiet and filled with the scent of simple aromatic vegetables gently bubbling in a good broth. There is no recipe for today’s soup save for Elizabeth David’s caveat – “….the soup pot cannot be treated as a dustbin……. the creative urge in the matter of embellishments is best kept under control.”  A base of finely chopped celery and finely sliced onion is melted in olive oil that has been imbued for a few moments with a the flavour from a clove of garlic. Over this aromatic base is poured the stock that I made from the chicken carcass. A carrot and a thin leek were sliced on a mandolin and added to the hot broth. Some white pepper, a splash of fish sauce and the tiniest splash of light soy acted as seasoning. To finish I added a serving spoon of angel’s hair pasta and that’s it. Au revoir, c’est l’heure du souper.

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About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in apples, Autumn, Chicken, Cooking, cous cous, desserts, Digital photography, Elizabeth David, family, food, Food and Photography, France, French countryside, goose fat, harmony, Herbs and Spices, lifestyle, meringues, Parmigiana Reggiano, roast potatoes, Soup, tagine, tart, Uncategorized, Vendee, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to To make a good soup, the pot must only simmer or “smile”.

  1. Wow. That almost looks Chinese-Japanese. Add ramen noodles, definitely Chinese-Japanese.

  2. Seriously awesome looking soup. Love the picture with a fly too 😀

  3. Your close-up photos make me want to invest in a serious camera as opposed to my point-and-shoot.

  4. Great looking soup! I can smell it!

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    Elizabeth would be so proud of your soup, Roger. And I think it’s great that you were too busy enjoying your family to take pictures of the food being served. May that aways be the case!

  6. That soup is so artful. That first photo though, ah flies, the bane of our summers. Well mosquitoes too.

  7. Tandy says:

    I just love that saying! I have a soup pot smiling on my stove top most of winter 🙂

  8. That soup would make me smile on a cold day – it looks lovely! As always, I love the way Elizabeth David’s words on the subject.

  9. I am almost starting to love the plague of flies we have here after seeing that shot!

  10. Sounds like a merry weekend of fine feasting. The soup looks so delicious.

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