I feel like soup is more than just food, don’t you? Soup is nourishment for the soul.
Picture this: it’s a cold, damp day, and you’re feeling kind of blue because your boss yelled at you for something that wasn’t your fault. You stop at the grocery store because you know that there’s nothing but a tub of mayonnaise and a half-eaten packet of Tostitos in your kitchen. You wander around aimlessly, trying to figure out what you feel like eating. Suddenly, as you sullenly walk through the fruit and vegetable section, you spot a butternut squash sitting on its own in the basket. You’re instantly transported to a day in your childhood when you weren’t feeling too great as well, and you see your mother place a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup right in front of you. You take your first sip and swallow. It warms you to your very core. It’s a warmth that begins at your centre and spreads out across your limbs, all the way to the tips of your fingers and toes.
“Soup,” you say to yourself, back in the grocery store. With a new sense of purpose, you grab the lonely squash, and you collect the other ingredients you need: carrots, ginger, garlic, vegetable stock, and maybe an onion, too. You rush back home, let yourself in, take off your jacket that is coated in little droplets of rain, spread the ingredients onto the table, and start by chopping the garlic and ginger. You place these in the pot, mixing them with a little oil. You struggle a little with peeling the squash, but you manage. You chop it up, as well as the carrots, and you put all the raw orange pieces into the pot. Then you cover the ingredients with some veggie stock, and you wait until everything is soft enough. While you wait, you pull out the blender that you bought thinking that you would make smoothies all the time, but you don’t really use that often. You pour in the contents from the pot, making sure the lid is on tight—you know you’ve made that mistake before; there’s still a raspberry stain on the ceiling to prove it. You plug it in. Ready, set, whizz!
The mixture of vegetables and rich flavours starts folding in on itself and turning into the deep orange substance resembling that of your memory. You’re mesmerized by the continuous movement and you stare as if in a trance only to be pulled out of it by the grumbling of your empty stomach. The soup looks about ready. You shut off the blender, and pour some out into a bowl. You sit at your little wooden table that is built to accommodate two people, but only ever really seats one, and you poise your spoon on the side of the bowl. You dip in the spoon, take that first sip and, for a moment or two, you are the child being comforted by a caring mother, feeling the warmth seep towards the tips of your fingers and toes.
“Soup,” you murmur to yourself.