Three Bean Soup – The Backstory

I don’t know what it is about soup that makes me feel organised. A pot of whizzed up vegetables shouldn’t dictate how in-control I feel, but it does.

When there’s a lunchbox of homemade soup in the fridge it means that I’ve given myself the time that week to make it. I’ve planned ahead, I’ve been using my non-existent time management skills. I’ve probably, at some point along the way, made a list.

Lists are the key to me feeling ok. If there’s a list that I can work through then I have a direction, a plan. When I go off list I can become overwhelmed, everything crashes towards me at once and I try to do everything at the same time, which only leads to failure, me feeling grumpy and watching countless episodes of Friends to try make myself feel sane again.

I’m a laid-back person, I thrive from change and like to be spontaneous. But there’s a little voice inside my head that doesn’t want to go off course. That wants to make me feel anxious when I think about the week ahead and everything I have to get done. That wants me to write copious lists of tasks and tick them off in order.

I live in a weird balance between my laid-back self and this organised voice. Sometimes they have big arguments in my head and I just stand in the kitchen and cry, because that’s the only thing I am capable of doing and the only thing that isn’t on any list but feels like it should be ticked off.

Did I cry today? Yes? Oh good, tick.

Even the recipe for any soup is just a list, throw this variety of food items into a pot and stir.

It’s the ultimate way for unorganised people to feel organised. Have a lunchbox of soup in the fridge and you’ll feel like Mary Poppins every time you take it out to heat it up.

Practically Perfect In Every Way.

And you can use anything to make soup, so there’s no need to plan ahead and buy lots of ingredients. All the soups I made are a mix of whatever beans I have in the cupboard, vegetable stock and whatever vegetable I have the most of in the fridge. Which is why during poor months frozen pea soup plays a starring role in my food pyramid.

When everything gets too much and all you’ve consumed for the last two days is hummus eaten straight out of the plastic carton with a spoon, dry Special K and really bad coffee, that soup you made three days ago is the light at the end of the tunnel.

It makes you remember that vegetables taste nice, and make you feel nice and that at some point in the recent past you were organised enough to make soup for yourself, you took the time and you cared. And you can be that person again.

So sometimes it is fine that soup is my life raft, even if that does sound silly. Everyone needs a life raft, so mine might as well be whizzed up vegetables.

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