Soup and a good book.

I have forsworn cake for lent. It’s not that I am worried about my eventual entry through the gates of heaven (though it could be a tight squeeze) but that I am concerned with the close-fitting nature of my jeans.

I have tried re-introducing the family to salads but the family was having none of it. They complained vociferously and informed me that it’s still too chilly for cold dinners. They have a point. It is surely the season for soup.

Aztec Soup

For my March edition of Cooking the Books, I have devised the ultimate soup recipe. It was almost too easy this time. The book, Umami by Laia Jufresa, practically spelled out the recipe to me. It all came together like some sort of literary magic.

 Find the review and the recipe for Aztec soup here.

Today is World Book Day. Small Girl is very excited about finally qualifying for a free book voucher and I’m happy to have an excuse for a bookshop outing. The books look great this year. Take a look at the list on WorldBookDay.com. I won’t be able to resist the Famous Five stories and I suspect Small Girl will want the one about underpants.The gallery of World Book Day doodles by well known illustrators is also well worth a look.

I like lists. I am a maker of lists and a dedicated ticker of lists. Best of all the lists, of course, are book lists and there are some fantastic book lists out there. If the internet had been invented just for the book lists it would have been worth it. These are some of my favourites:
The Agnes Reading List. I’m blowing my own trumpet here since I compiled this list of books for teenage girls. My all-time most loved books are on this list.
The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. Rory Gilmore is one extremely well-read young (and fictional, by the way) lady. These are all the books she reads or mentions over the seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls. You can tick the books you’ve read on this VERY good list (SO satisfying, I’m at 64 of the 339 books).
The Guardian’s list of 100 best novels ever written in English is a SERIOUS list, developed over two years by Robert McCrum. It’s compiled in chronological order. I’ve read 25 which is hardly very impressive.
The 100 Best Children’s Books from Time.com is a thing of beauty. I could flick through this quite contentedly all day long.
The 25 greatest cookbooks of all time is calling to me. So much temptation. The only one of these I own is Moro. My birthday is coming up soon…hello, family…can you hear me? Hint, hint, etc.
My favourite cookbooks are listed here.
Barack Obama’s Reading List: The 79 books recommended by a very bookish president during his time in office.
J.K Rowling’s Reading List: The books which have most influenced the world’s most successful author.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for in any of those lists you could take a glance through the books I’ve read since starting this blog in May 2015.
I hope you find a book you love today.

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23 thoughts on “Soup and a good book.

  1. What fabulous lists …. I shall snuggle down after lunch (soup as it turns out …. it always is chez nous unless is hot enough for salad 😉 … I consider myself something of a Soup Dragon 🐉 which pleases me and makes me feel less of an Undomestic Failed Goddess) Anyway en point – I shall hunker down with those lists and scrawl notes to self on books to choose and re-choose on this day of days. Happy World Book Day to you and all your brood 📚

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      1. So – I’m reading Twenty Love Songs and a Song of Despair (Neruda) for the umpteenth time and my copy has Spanish (which I don’t speak) on one side and English on the other so I lie back and try my best to read the words as he wrote them outloud. This is a very private pleasure and doubtless would make my daughters cringe. I am also reading ‘The Boys in the Boat’by Daniel James Brown – a true and amazing story and my classic (I try to always have a classic on the go or re-go) is Hardy’s ‘The Woodlanders’ which I did for A level and haven’t picked up since. I also read le Dauhiné every day (our local paper in Grenoble) for reasons of making my hair stand on end when I get to the criminal bits …. honestly it’s far better than a soap – the French have a finely honed sense of the dramatic and heart-wrenching when talking of crime – far better than the dry English reports from courts.

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      2. Husband gave me that exact (or if not, very similar) Spanish/English edition of Neruda. We credit the movie Il Postino with inspiring our Italian adventures and the poems have remained, oddly enough, a link to Italy. The Boys in the Boat is BRILLIANT! I adored it and my boy, a rower, forces it upon anyone who ever asks for a good book. The Woodlanders, I’m ashamed to admit, are floundering under a blanket of dust, on my shelves. I think the books came from Chez les-in-laws because I know I haven’t read it. Should I? As for the French, is there anything they don’t do better? (scones, maybe scones)

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      3. My husband got chatting to a fellow on a plane and for some reason he mentioned that I was a rower (your son has my respect instantly because I could be said to still be a teeny bit obsessed) and the fellow recommended the book. I am loving it. It’s wonderful. Neruda is one of the loves of my life and it was my husband who gave me this edition. What superb chaps we chose! The Woodlanders …. typically Hardy but certainly not his greatest. I am reading it mainly because I think enough time has elapsed (to be exact 40 years this September) since I studied it and I wanted to know if I preferred it when not having to be quite so micro-analytical. I am setting about all my A level texts for the same reason. So far I would say if it’s a bad weather week and you can’t get out in the garden, then blow the dust off it but otherwise don’t worry yourself. There was a piece in le Daupiné about an English girl who came to the town and is now working in one of the patisseries and making …. you guessed it – Scones! They are the talk of the town it seems. So you are right, there is something that even they concede they are not best at – though if pressed I think they would deny it and start humming le Marseillais!!!

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      4. Easily my favourite comment ever. I’ve just been writing a review of Atkinson’s Life after Life, a magnificent book and stuffed to the covers with food. Best line:
        ‘I could demolish a scone.’

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      5. This makes me happy. And that book has to be found! Just walked past the patisserie in question and on their A-board outside it proclaims ‘Le formule …. scone saler, boisson chaud de choix – 3€’ unfortunately I was on my way to my favourite salon de thé orientale for mint tea and little Moroccan pastries ((there’s a huge and ancient North African population here)) with a hot date …. my hubby, but I rather feel I may have to investigate the validity of the claims that these are excellent scones in the next few days – a girl can only take so many macaroons and croissants 🥐 😉

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      6. I will write a post about the Arab Quarters here … those pastries have me addicted but it could be a nasty collision with the scones. I hope it doesn’t get messy …. 😂

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  2. Everything fitting very tightly here too. I have forsworn puddings and snacks and sugar and I have not settled into it yet. Could be a rough few days. Thanks for the reading lists, I love that sort of thing. I shall save them for later and have a happy look through. CJ xx

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    1. It is tough, isn’t it? I can do it so long as I know there is an end (ie, Easter) in sight. It’s these ‘life changes’ that I can’t get my head around at all. Mind you, I gave up sugar in hot drinks for lent a few years back and never went back so there is always hope!

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  3. Soups? Yes, as long as they’re served with a large hunk of butter-slathered bread on the side! I just cannot not eat carbs in the chilly months. It has to be quite warm for me to want to eat salad 🙂 Love your stacks of books although I am a little worried that if you decided to get one from the bottom of the pile you’d be knocked out. Thank you for the links to all these great lists. x

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  4. Just ordered the cook book, found a used one at a decent price, we love soups, but I sometimes go off the rails with the spices and my husband isn’t as adventurous as I am and I am left with soup in the freezer for months…LOL I think I should try to follow a recipe or two…LOL love the different list of books to read…jotting down a few titles…..however I really like the paranormal reading, just a hint of magic…LOL happy reading…kat

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    1. Hi Kat, I hope I was clear: the book I reviewed is a novel but I did list a cookbook in the recommended books section…I hope that wasn’t confusing. The Aztec Soup recipe is my own but it IS really delicious and nutritious and healthy!

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      1. LOL I thought the soup recipe was in the book…oh well I will print out the recipe, it sounded yummy…and looks delicious and I am excited to get the book…LOL what’s another good book to read…and it doesn’t take much to confuse me…LOL no harm…

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