Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pumpkin and rice soup

A mini tempest in the kitchen and some sage sisterly advice gives life to this comforting bowl of pumpkin and rice soup

Every now and then, my kitchen and I are like a well-oiled wheel. We are a team, high on efficiency. We keep on top of the contents of the fridge and cupboards (not so much tidy as in tune with each other), spinning meals that produce more meals, managing leftovers and cleaning up as we go along. We marvel at how we have made one lasagne for lunch and another for the freezer, poached the fruit that’s threatening to go off and still have the energy to tidy a drawer.

But highs are followed by lows. Creeping ones to start: low irritation and grumbling discontent at the demands we put on each other, the damp above the sink and the sticky shelf. Creeping turns into stomping and, before you know it, I hate everything and have no idea what to cook. I share cooking and domestic tasks equally with my partner – but not discussion, at this point.

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