Leek and potato soup is a very comforting dish indeed and comfort was what we craved last night. Hanging over us was the threat of abluting under a cold shower in the morning unless the relief column, which hopefully included a plumber, got through to La Moussiere. We needed consolation and warmth and the best way to get it was from our food. This classic soup succeeded in doing this to great effect whilst simultaneously stirring the recollection of a long forgotten soup story.
A little known, but classic Steve McQueen war movie, “Hell is for Heroes”, also stars the great comedian Bob Newhart as a flaky army clerk who mistakenly arrives, and is subsequently stuck, in a desperately undermanned front line position. Having no aggressive military talent he is called upon to fabricate, on a phone line tapped by the enemy, the illusion of a huge garrison groaning under the weight of too many men, too much ammunition and too much leisure. The telling line for me is when he nervously informs an imaginary quartermaster than the men are getting surly over seeing the same film 5 nights in a row and that they are also complaining that the Vichyssoise in the canteen tastes like cold potato soup. That gave the Boche a good laugh over ” die dummkopf americanische” and soup saved the day yet again. I should mention that my German is only remembered from comic books and is written whilst trying to imitate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice.
There is a small amount of our soup left that I shall finesse into a Vichyssoise for a lunchtime snack in the sun. I shall let you know if the flavour of leeks is equal to the potatoes. What is more, tomorrow we shall be having hot showers as La Moussiere has been relieved.