What a week. I needed a hug in a bowl, maybe ten. Made gently in my quiet kitchen on a cosy day that needed healing, this ham hock, watercress and beluga lentil soup allowed me a half hour where I was immersed somewhere else, somewhere kinder, somewhere nurturing.
The world feels unsafe now, and I worry for all of us, especially those already in terrifying situations. Refugees, those living in poverty (many here in the UK), and minorities living in a place where people fear them. It makes no sense to me, and I am sure that many of you feel the way I do. We need to fight it, we need to make the world we live in a home for everyone. We need to think about how we do that. A world where we are afraid of other and violently opposed to them, is a world headed in a dangerous direction. A frightening place for all of us, even those blindly charging into it.
Refuge in a bowl of soup
So I took brief refuge in cooking and in this bowl of soup. A soothing pot of broth with shreds of bright pink smoked ham and pops of black beluga lentils, holding firm in the face of the luxurious ham broth with some watercress seasoning and lightening it all. Ham hock is perfect for this weather, a time for slow cooking (or cooking fast as I did this time, cooking this in my first pressure cooker, more on that soon).