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Soul Soup - Patient Creativity

May is about being patient, waiting for my veg to grow, waiting for the summer holidays and working my way through the ideas I had earlier in the year, turning up at the page. When inspiration seems hard to come by, or the process of creativity seems functional rather than inspired, it's good to shake things up a bit and play. This can feel pressurised and fraught with self doubt so I find cooking is a great way to shift me out of a slump. I gather and select and it's great to chuck out the recipes and follow my nose. Once nourished I can get back to the studio and try out some new ways of working. Sometimes the best food, like the best art is a result of a bit of experimentation.

May - Blank Canvas Soup - sometimes it's good to not know what you're creating!

A chopped onion

A pint of hot vegetable stock

A glug of olive oil

Whatever veg you fancy. Forage in your allotment, see what's in the fridge or freezer. (let a colour inspire your soup...all reds or greens. Let a nation inspire you, think Italian or Spanish or Indian)

Some chopped herbs, fresh or dried.

Some tinned beans, or tinned tomatoes

A handful of pasta, or paella rice, or a nest of noodles.

Some lemon juice, or lime juice or a tbsp of wine vinegar or a tbsp of soy sauce for an Asian flavour

A crazy 'secret' ingredient from the pantry - marmalade, marmite, yoghurt.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Start by warming the olive oil in a frying pan. Gently soften the onion. Add the stock.

Then it's over to you. Don't measure. Add veg by the handful. You'll need about 6 handfuls of ingredients. Simmer for 10-15 mins until veg are softened and dry ingredients are cooked through.

Do you want to leave it chunky? Do you want to put it in the blender? Does it need a sprinkling of parmesan?

Serve it in your favourite bowl. And don't forget that sometimes you need to throw away the rule book to get creative.

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