Autumn is in the air, the leaves are beginning to fall and it’s a brilliant time to be in the Peace Garden. We are harvesting lots of splendid food: onions, cabbage, courgettes (oh they keep coming!), beetroot and beans to name a few. So as the weather cools it’s a great opportunity to use these ingredients to make soup.

The Let’s Get Growing group is very fond of soup and we each have our favourites. I love lentil and carrot, thick and warming, flavoured with coriander and black pepper. Excuse me for 20 minutes whilst I go off to make some.

Some people prefer a thin consommé, like an onion soup.  The process of making it is somewhat like being in love. It requires commitment, extraordinary effort, inordinate time and will assuredly make you cry.

Me, I like a soup so thick you can shake its hand and take a stroll with it before dinner.

There is a lot to be said about soup and how you eat it.  For instance, good manners are described as the noise you don’t make when you’re eating soup. Oh it’s difficult not to slurp and dribble it down yer front I know, but please try.

Some soups bring back fond memories of family occasions or dining out. But P.G Wodehouse warns us that ‘Memories are like mulligatawny soup in a cheap restaurant. It is best not to stir them.’

I try to remember to make nettle soup each spring when the first tender leaves emerge. It is so very green, much to the consternation of friends invited to tea, but lovely with nutmeg. So I understand the attraction of Lewis Carroll’s mock turtle soup:
 “Beautiful soup, so rich and green
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup!
Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth of beautiful soup?

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!
Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!
Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

When next you go to buy your soup at the soupermarket (ha, ha), pause a second and think of the pleasure you could derive from brewing your own batch of beetroot broth and put that can back on the shelf.

And here’s a recipe from Saga for all we old people, (if you are 50 years or more you are old, apparently.) This is courgette, mint and feta soup, to help tackle the continuing glut. It’s quite suitable for we toothless old crones, one can silently suck it up: