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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