There was truly nothing spectacular about this morning. Just a walk in the drizzle with Ben to la Poste and la Presse but something made me feel deep contentment about our little town. Not only that I am welcome to take my dog along to the post office and the newspaper stand. Perhaps a little beep about its beauty even while dressed in grey. And of course there is nothing better to do when in a good mood than to make soup (I have also made it while at the end of my rope but that is another pot of veggies altogether).
One of the many wonderful things about having two excellent markets to go to each week in Arles is that there are always fresh things laying about, there is no excuse not to have them actually. Today I felt like scraping and chopping sweet potato (which to me charmingly translates to something suggesting "gentle potato"), the regular variety, shallots, onions, not to mention ginger and a fistful of garlic to boost our sagging immune systems. All of this in the quiet, looking out onto our sleeping garden under the high church walls.
Now, I am not the natural cook that Remi and my Mom are but I am not bad at those instinctively comforting things like soups. I just want something to ease the day and our Le Creuset pot is my secret weapon, sautéing the ingredients without burning them, keeping all of the good things in. Normally I am off on some sort of fusion experiment but today was a day to leave the curry on the shelf. I tried to imagine what an old-fashioned grandmotherly kind of soup Remi would have been served when he was young. To the chicken bouillon I added the last bit of red wine from last night, herbes de Provence, salt from the Camargue. Into the blender with a bit of cream and cooked lentils added at the last minute to thicken things up. Topped with croutons and freshly shredded emmenthal cheese and there you have it, something to keep us all in good health--body and spirit! Bon Appétit!