I am cleaning out my refrigerator and making soup. I find it cathartic to get a shiny clean fridge at the end and a pot of fresh, comforting soup
First I braise a chicken. My mother taught me how to use all of the chicken, no waste. Herbs, salt, pepper, garlic cloves, a carrot and a stalk of celery, plus water to not quite cover.
Once it’s in the oven I can get back to the fridge and gather up the aging, flaccid vegetables that won’t get eaten otherwise, but will look and taste brilliant in the soup
I wash and trim them, and it’s kind of how I feel about my life the last few weeks. I’ve been lost in thought and meditation, trying to take thoughts of death in the spring, and clean them up into something more healthy and fresh, that still has life in it.
It reminds me of watching my mother cut out squares for a quilt from our old dresses. New from old.
How common is it to get allergies later in life? The Easter lilies are making me sneeze and my head fills up like it will explode. This is new territory for me.
Separate chicken and put all the bones back into the pot with the juices. Cook forever until the sadness and regret are cooked out of it. Chill the broth. Skim the fat.
Vegetables, broth, bay leaf, and vegetables back in the pot. Add water. Simmer until your oldest child says, “Not soup for dinner again.”
Wash baby spinach, put a handful at the bottom of a large soup bowl with chopped or ripped chicken. Say a prayer for health and kindness.
Ladle hot soup over the chicken and the spinach. Serve with croutons or toast, and a smile. Turn off the internet. Turn on a good movie. Taste.