Wild Garlic Soup

I think my dog is depressed. She can’t understand why she is stuck with me all day. I have tried to explain but I don’t think I am getting it through to her.

So why the title Wild Garlic Soup? Well as we are all out walking – what else is there to do? You might have noticed that there is an abundance of wild garlic. My son Jake, who was until last week a chef at St John’s, sent me his recipe for wild garlic soup, which he says is delicious.

2 x medium white onions thinly sliced, 2 x large potatoes washed and diced to fingernail size. Bay leaf and thyme if available. Glass of white wine. 1 Vegetable stock cube. 4 large handfuls of Wild Garlic. Washed half a lemon.

Sweat the onions with little olive oil, low and slow and season well with salt. When starting to get translucent add bay leaf and thyme. Caramelise the onions to a latte-ish colour, then add the potatoes with more salt. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Blanch the wild garlic leaves, a handful at a time for about 15 seconds, moving them around so they cook evenly. When out of the water cool them quickly in icy water or under cold running water. Set aside

When the potatoes have started to soften crumble in the stock cube and wine. Reduce by half, add litre of water and cook on gentle heat for 20 mins until potatoes are soft.

Blend the blanched leaves, the onion/potato mix and stock until a velvety vibrant mix. Return to pan add squeeze of lemon and heavy crack of black pepper. Serve with lots of toasted buttery bread,

Jake’s Wild Garlic Soup

I threw a bit of a wobbly late last night when I suddenly felt incredibly alone and the reality of my new norm hit me. But I have recovered. Until the next one!

My my partner of 35 years died 18 months ago and I thought, “this is the biggest challenge in my life,” little did I know what was ahead. During my late night post whisky meltdown I wondered what it would be like if Tod was still here. He was good in a crisis. After all he had been a paratrooper, so he was used to facing danger. I know that for the first few weeks he would have kept me amused and been very upbeat and practical but how would it have been after a few months?

I am sure that the outbreak of COVID-19 will be a real pressure test on partnerships and when this is all over we might be seeing the emergence of “coronavirus divorce courts. ” Apparently there has already been a spike in divorce applications in Xi’an in China because couples have been forced in quarantine in close quarters.

The peak times for divorce are after Christmas and the summer holidays when couples spend longer periods together – one can only imagine what it might be like after families are forced into isolation because of this virus.

But back to the dog any suggestions of how I might lift her mood. I googled depressed dogs. And it says dogs get depression similar to humans. And that one sign might be avoiding friends and family members – well there aren’t any here to avoid. Might just make some chicken soup tonight – it’s good for the soul.