I know, I've been talking about soup a lot lately. But just as we're about to move into spring, I think I'm at the tail end of my season of soup. So indulge me just a wee bit more on the soupy side of things.
Last night I served up Creamy Fennel Soup (with a Green Swirl) at Soup & Bread at the Hideout. What was special about this soup wasn't just that it was made from scratch or that it came from a recipe by David Tanis of Chez Panisse or even that 15 years ago I hadn't ever tasted fennel and had no intentions of every doing so. No, what was special about this soup is that Ted and I made it together.
With Ted not working right now and me working these freelance jobs that are hither and thither, well, we've been home together quite a bit. And with neither of us working a full-time gig there have certainly been moments of stress and panic that haven't always played out in the most model behavior. But I must say, being home together during the day while the children are at school has some really amazing perks. Like eating lunch together. Talking about writing. Snuggling and watching YouTube for fun & inspiration. And making soup. Together.
When Ted and I first got married he used to cook all the time. He was working on a novel and at the end of the day he actually liked the distinctly different creative outlet that cooking provided. It was food, not words. And let me tell you, it was divine. We would actually sit in bed and he'd read portions of Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking aloud to me. I'd come home late from work and he'd be making gnocchi from scratch. Or throwing down some Arroz a la Tumbada from Ricardo Bayless. Or stirring up a creamy risotto that our friend Maria Theresa taught us to make with cheap champagne. He even got me to fall in love with Cabbage Soup!
But then he went and got a "real" job at an agency and then we had kids and then I don't know, he just kind of stopped cooking. It's funny how things can shift and just go away so easily. These days I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and most of the time I'm alone. But on Monday, facing a mountain of fennel bulbs and many onions, I did something I'm not always good at. I asked for help. I invited Ted into the kitchen. And Ted, smiled, grabbed the knife and the knife sharpener and dove right in.
We were chopping side by side. Hip to hip. Nothing profound happened as we chopped. Actually, I can't even remember what we talked about. Maybe something really racy like when Sam's next dermatology appointment is or how I'll handle the logistics of our upcoming trip to Florida. But instead of being alone in the kitchen and having the making of soup feel like a chore, I was in the kitchen with my husband and we were having a good time making something together.
Thank you, soup. And welcome back to the kitchen, Ted. It's good to be in it togther.