First Soup of 2011

Chunky Turkey Soup

Still on the theme of Christmas, today's soup (the forty-first since I began the project and the first of 2011) is Angela Nilsen's chunky turkey soup. Another theme is thriftiness. In my blog entry of 19th December I mentioned the possibility of buying turkeys cheaply after Christmas and the spouse duly bought a turkey leg for €5! There is plenty of meat on it. He cooked it for our new year's day lunch party. I used some of the remaining meat for today's soup and I'll be using the bone, meat scraps and limp vegetables from the fridge to replenish my supply of stock. Good value or what!

The Soup Book recipe for chunky turkey soup calls for onion, potato, carrots, leek, peas and turkey. Then it is served with hot garlic bread. In my prevailing mood of thriftiness, I used leftover bread to make croutons (crush a clove of garlic in olive oil, coat slices of French bread in the oil and "bake" in a hot oven for about fifteen minutes). My thriftiness in relation to food will no doubt manifest itself in other ways in the coming days and weeks!

We had the soup for dinner this evening when my old friend MH came round. I think it was a success. The carrots and peas made it quite sweet, but there was a succulent meaty taste too. MH lavishly praised our cooking and we were flattered.

Soup in literature

For my next book group meeting I am reading Christopher Hitchens' memoir Hitch-22. At present I am up to chapter three and enjoying it immensely.  I mention this book only because there is a reference to avgolemono soup. Hitchens refers to having lunch with Chester Kallman - life-partner and verse-collaborator of W. H. Auden - in a restaurant in Syntagma Square, Athens: "He was fifty-two and looked seventy, with an almost grannyish trembling and protruding lower lip and a quivering hand that spilled his avgolemono soup down his already well-encrusted shirtfront." Only for The Soup Book I wouldn't have bothered finding out more about this soup. I recognised the word in Hitchens' book, even though The Soup Book uses a different and possibly incorrect spelling (avgolemone).

Bad Puns Involving Bees: W Bee Yeats

During the week I came across these lines in W. B. Yeats' poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree:

"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade."

You can hear Yeats reading the poem at this link. Apologies for the pun above.


  1. Since I was a child I have thought that "bee loud-glade" is wonderfully even more so.


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