I’ve made this soup twice for the blog.
First time I was feeling normal, but just wanted to try the Vegetable Noodle Soup. (The whole ginger miso broth element sounded tasty. I’d never tried miso before.)
The second time I was totally fucked. Coming down with flu. Made the ‘quick’ version of this soup. Faaaaaaaak!
So let’s quickly Tarantino this shit, because the two experiences were very fucking different from one another.
First time the soup ended up looking like this:
Picture the scene: It’s a beautiful afternoon, just the right temperature. The window is ajar, the calm breeze moves the leaves of the basil plant on the window sill. Nice tunes on the radio. The kitchen is a nice place to be. I followed all the instructions in the recipe, I even used the home-made stock using all the veggie scraps I’d saved and I just KNEW it was the most nutritious soup ever. As I was prepping the veg for the soup I had a little laugh to myself at the zombie apocalypse crack the Thugs included. They are some funny bad asses, I mean who else refers to a zombie apocalypse in a cookbook? LOLS.
I even got my little three-year old son to eat this soup and he is NOT a soup person. It’s the noodles. They are just a friendly food.
I could tell it was full of nutritious goodness, and it tasted nice. My old English teacher always told me to use other words than ‘nice’. “REPLACE IT”, she’d say. Because ‘nice’ is a bland word. But that is what the soup was. Just nice.
That was the first time. I think it was the home-made broth that I used. It was not exciting this time. Healthy, but not exciting. I used less garlic than usual I think.
Okay. So second time I made this soup.
Picture the scene: I’d had sore throat for two days, and ignored it. This day (P.S. it was yesterday) I wake up and think: I’m having a bad dream. Then I realise, I’m not – I’m actually awake. My son had woken up at 5am, and is bouncing around demanding breakfast as I claw my way out of bed. I scrape myself off the floor and drag myself into the kitchen. I have the kind of throat that’s so swollen and sore that you gag every time you try to swallow or speak. I attempt to calm his bounciness, because my head is pounding and start to speak some sort of word. ANY word will do. Nothing happens at first, then a screech makes it out. I sound like an owl that’s choking. I think it’s also around this time that I make the mistake of glancing in the mirror as I pass it in the hallway. A haggard woman looks back at me. We both look surprised for a moment, and then turn away from one another to the bouncing child behind us. I down a hot coffee, gagging all the way. Then sip another cup. I’m able to speak again.
Somehow, I get us both dressed and we are out the door to kindergarten. (My son had his breakfast-don’t worry! I can see you worrying about that. It’s okay. He was chowing cereal while I was gagging on coffee.) On the way home, I’m starting to feel a bit better, because the coffee is working wonders and the fresh air is helping. It’s really windy out. I realise I’m hungry as hell. I have some sort of foresight to think: NEED NOODLE SOUP, and stop at the local store to grab broccoli, which is the only ingredient that I can remember from the recipe. I somehow pay and stumble outside again. I can only imagine what I look like: a scraggly-haired anemic ghost maybe? Who knows.
I get home, find the ‘good book’ (No, not the Bible. The Thug Kitchen cookbook) and start to prep the soup. This time I’m stopping to wipe the never-ending snot from my nose. I realise I’m missing a bunch of ingredients. I check for carrots. Nope. No spring onions either. (and who the hell has snow peas in the house unless they’ve specifically bought them for a recipe?) Fuck it. I keep going. I can tell I won’t have energy reserves for long, the magic of the coffee is beginning to wear off. I make some stock from a shitty salty stock cube, and add what ingredients I have. I throw in a random onion because, well, it’s there. I start feeling really gross again, I can feel feverishness taking hold. I try not to chop off my fingers. I drop broccoli on the floor. My pounding head does not allow me to retrieve it. The kitchen is not a happy place.
As I make the soup I have delirious longings for the couch. If I can just make it to the couch, all will be okay. I’ve got the shakes now.
I shove the noodles in and shove it all in a bowl. I grab the bowl a bit more forcefully than I intended, and get hot soup on my fingers. I can’t lie. There is some swearing. Just before I collapse on the couch, I suddenly think: The blog! The blog! And stop to take a Photo.
Yes. The picture is blurry. I did not notice at the time, because my world was blurry. I only have that one photo. But I made it to the couch. And I eat the soup, and although I slurp the noodles, and spill it all over the sofa cushions it is the BEST SOUP that has ever existed in my mouth. I don’t know if it’s the miso, or maybe the salty flavours from the crappy store-bought stock cube. Or maybe it’s the flu. This flu wants salt. This flu wants salt the way a volcano God wants sacrificial virgins. Whatever it is. It’s divine.