I remember being read
the Ladybird book, about magic soup, that was made with a stone,
eventually I could read it myself.
A hungry stranger comes,.
with an empty pot and a stone.
Villagers reticent to share,
watch him just add water.
The ultimate convenience food.
Drawn by curiosity, villagers
nochalantly wander over.
It's not everyday you see a miracle.
Stranger says with a flourish.
The stone soup could use a garnish.
Quickly people rush off grabbing
a good brown onion, wilted carrot.
Herbs pulled from the verge,
end of cabage, all thrown in
as "seasonings", help the soup
reach its full flavoursome potential.
Of course there is morale
in the story, about the power of
working together and how everyone
has something to bring to the pot.
That was the theory.
The practice was watching
my mother, like a resurrectionist
bringing the near dead veg to life.
I learned how food could nuture,
soup could be a hug in mug,
be both cure and comfort.
Mum gave up peddling chicken broth.
When I went through that
awkward veggie phase
(that's lasted full 35 years).
Her leek and potato now soothes me.
Whenever I make soup.
I am reminded that I learned
to cut veg watching her.
Mastering hand eye coordination.
More importantly listening skills
to watch my fingers
mind the knife, all of this
while balancing on a stool.
This last year, we are again making
soup together. You approve
of the soup maker a modern marvel,
how easily it manages it's alchemy.
There is always a portion, to pack up
for work, I sup a smug liquid lunch,
My colleagues cry into their less
sovereign pot noodle.