My Secret Life with Bees in Literature; Beetroot and Apple Soup

My Secret Life with Bees in Literature

The other night as I was going to bed I turned on the radio (RTE 1) and happened to hear the reading from The Book on One. It was an extract from Virgil's Georgics concerning bees. The Georgics is a poem completed c.29 BC, comprising four books that deal with crops, trees, livestock and bees. What I was listening to was a translation by Peter Fallon (, founder of the Gallery Press. The reference to honey as manna caught my attention and I continued to listen to Virgil's ideas on providing an ideal environment for bees to thrive in. The translator was the reader. The spouse and I agreed he didn't read well. Nevertheless I soldiered on for the sake of my blog!
Other bee-related books I have enjoyed in recent years are The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and The Beekeeper's Pupil
by Sara George. As far as I can remember the former is about a community of women protecting each other and the latter a fictional account of Francois Huber's application of the scientific method to the study of reproduction in bees.
Is it apt that today I am planning to make bee...troot soup (!)?

Later the same day ... Beetroot and Apple Soup

Well, I have made the beetroot and apple soup as shown in The Soup Book. The ingredients are onion, garlic, fresh beetroot, potato, apple, stock (chicken or vegetable - I used vegetable), sugar and lemon juice, garnished with fresh chopped herbs (parsley, chives, dill or coriander, or a mix) and creme fraiche, soured cream or yoghurt. I hesitated over this choice as I didn't like beetroot as a child. Anyway, I got out my food processor to use for grating the vegetables and apples. I have only used it before for liquidising and blending, so I had to take the time to figure out how to grate with it. It wasn't as efficient as I had hoped because I had to take the lumps back out of the bowl and chop them manually.

We've just had lunch. The soup tasted good - the apples helped to tone down the beetroot and it looked good with the garnish. That's two soups this month already. Will I be able to keep up the pace?


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