If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. ~ Anais Nin
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~ Ray Bradbury
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~ Ernest Hemingway
I’m deep in a story right now. Whenever writing grabs me by the throat like this I forget to eat, it becomes too much bother to cook, and when I do suddenly remember that I’m hungry I want something I can eat fast. It’s like an illness, this kind of writing. I breathe story, dream story, bleed story. It’s all I can think about. Food? Yeah, when my stomach aches and grumbles I want to eat something that fills me up and nurtures me, but that also lets me get back to work again with a minimum of fuss.
The answer to my problem is soup!
I like to make an industrial-sized vat of the stuff, so that there is plenty to feed me, and anyone else who happens to be around, for at least one meal. In truth, if there is enough soup, and enough bread, I can exist in this writerly state for days…
My soup of choice today happens to be pumpkin. Why? I have a triffid-like jap pumpkin vine taking over my vegetable garden. Jap pumpkin is sweet and buttery, easy to cut, and a great all-rounder in the kitchen. Once this writing frenzy subdues a little I might whip up a batch of pumpkin scones and share that recipe with you too.
Of course I also got to leave my desk and wander up the hill to pick a pumpkin, and some shallots (green onions) for my soup. I already had garlic hanging in the laundry from summer’s harvest. Gardening is a very healthy and grounding pastime for writers!
Pumpkin Soup Ingredients:
Vary the quantity to suit the size of your crowd, but for four hearty serves you’ll need half a jap pumpkin (about 4 to 6 cups of flesh – you can also use any other kind of pumpkin with good flavour), a large onion, two bay leaves, stock (at least two cups, or a quality stock powder and some water – if I have none of my own stock in the freezer I use Massel brand chicken style stock – great flavour and it’s 100% vegan!) 3 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to season, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of honey.
To serve you’ll also need some good bread for toast, some plain yoghurt or sour cream (if you’re vegan or dairy-free try coconut yoghurt!), and some fresh herbs such as green onion, chives, coriander (cilantro) or parsley.
Take a large saucepan. Peel and chop your onion and garlic roughly. Then skin and de-seed your pumpkin and chop into chunks. Dump into the saucepan with the onion and garlic. Barely cover with stock, or a good stock powder and water. Season with some salt and pepper, and add in the cumin and bay leaves. Bring to boil and then reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for twenty minutes. Take off the heat, and allow to cool a little.
If you have a stick blender you can puree the soup directly in the pot. Otherwise transfer to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Return to a saucepan to reheat. Test seasoning, and adjust if required, adding honey if necessary.
To serve, ladle into a bowl. Add a dollop of sour cream or natural yoghurt and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. serve with hot buttered toast. Enjoy! ❤
Feel motivated to grow your own pumpkins or herbs? It’s easier than you think. Maybe this will inspire you: