Monday, March 05, 2007

mmm mmm good good!

I was never a soup person. I was just never that into soup.

I guess I always preferred having the lamb chop or the cheese burger or the tikka (notice a trend) and never really the watery slurpy soup.

Perhaps it has something to do with it being too filling for before a meal and then not filling enough on its own. Whatever it was, I was never too big on the soup & salad combo (just the salad, thanks) or the soup and sandwich (just a bigger sandwich, thanks again) - I simply was never a soup person.

Then one day, things changed, and on this particular day, I was cold. On this particular day, I noted that winter was upon us and there's no denying that fact: as I stepped outside the building and pulled my coat tighter across my waist and cursed Mother Nature for giving us 4 seasons instead of one (Spring of course). I wasn't hungry but I needed something to warm me up and I've had enough heartburn from numerous cups of tea and coffee all morning. I needed something else. A pie? I looked at the queue in the tiny eatery and decided against it, walking to the Sainsbury's and keeping my face down, away from the piercing wind. What could I get?

"Get some soup" Charlotte retorted 5 minutes earlier in our office when I pondered aloud as what to have. We wrapped ourselves up in layers of dull coloured mixed wool and made our way out the building for lunch.

"I don't know..." my voice trailed off, thinking of the stringy chicken soup mums force down the throats of their sickly children. "Where's the chicken, Mama?" I'd ask, playing with the steaming liquid infront of me, unsure of why I was drinking something I should be chewing on - especially as a child, the concept of a meal you had to drink wasn't at all appealing unless it was space food. Looking back at it, perhaps it wasn't the fact that it was soup but more the fact that it was chicken (and I'm not so hot for the chicken) and that I was sick and sometimes funny things like that carry on with you for the rest of your life and you can't really explain why. Perhaps.

I could get soup... I looked at the alternatives: Sandwiches? Nothing satisfying. Baked Potatoe? Never really fussed about a potatoe before... Greasy Chilli Con Carne on long grain rice? Pass. Soup it is then.

I turned the corner to the fridge and I have to say, I was impressed. Soup isn't the boring cream of tomato it used to be. Oh no, soup has now evolved into so many different things as I looked at all the possibilities. Hearty Broths and Chunky Chowders, even the boring Chicken Corn Soup had been given a face lift and there was the bold Red Thai Chicken (even soup has become Thai-a-fied! Incredible!).

I hung around the soup shelf shyly for a couple of minutes, mulling over the possibilities. Minstrone or perhaps the Winter Warmer? So many choices and the clock was ticking - I was somewhere between the begining of lunchtime and the middle of rush hour, so I had to make a decision fast. I decided to go for the Vegetable Mulligatawny Soup - seemed safe and had some chunky vegetables and some rice, so I could do a bit of chewing and ease myself into it. Would I be disappointed? I bit my lip as I paid for my veggie soup and wondered whether this was going to be a bit mistake - in a flash, I imagined having my first spoon of soup and feeling so revolted I'd spit it out at my co-workers in disgust. I shivered at the thought of stringy chicken soup and vowed to give this a try.

And disappointed I was not - My Mulligatawny soup was just the right mix of veggies, rice and broth and was satisfying til the last spoonful. I was overjoyed - one less food not to like! And the days that followed after that were filled with different soup adventures: the chunky chilli veggie, the carrot and corriander - perhaps a multi-grain bagel to go with that? Sure!

The key element to take back with you is that soup is perfect for those cold winter days. Unfortunately, today the sun was shining and I was stuck for choice of lunch so just ran in to get my dependendable Carrot and Corriander and bagel only to find it bland and unsatisfying. This was probably because the sun was out, and when the sun's out, there's no need for the warmth of soup. Maybe tomorrow, when it's cold and grey and there's a chill in the air, I'll go back and have some nice chowder. If not, it's okay, at least I know Soup Isn't Just For Sick People, it's also for those with the winter blues.


Anonymous said...

Carrot and corriander is usually very satisfying. I always feel the need to add pepper to it, though. My favourite is butternut squash with a dash of nutmeg and a spoonful of yoghurt swirled around in the centre.

Bahraini Rants said...

i like soup too but when it's cold.. the warmer it is outside, the harder it becomes to force that spoon of soup down..

the real question, do you eat, drink or slurp soup? i never really figured that one out..

sh7rourita said...

Ur like me sweety i'm not that fan of drinking SOUP,bs in Rama'9an i drink (GREESH soup) i luv it m3 el big black lemon loool

H. said...

You "eat" soup, but you can "drink from" it. The slurping is when you feel funny and make noise while ingesting it :3 *slurp*

Anonymous said...

When I get back I'll make you the strawberry tomato gazpacho they taught us at chef school - you'll love it, I promise! I can give you my recipe now if you want it :) xx May

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