“But today, when the sun is everywhere, and everything solid is nothing but it’s own shadow, I know that the real things in life, the things I remember, the things I turn over in my hands, are not houses, bank accounts, prizes and promotions. What I remember is love – all love – love of this dirt road, this sunrise, a day by the river, the stranger I met in a cafe. ”
– Jeanette Winterson, Lighthousekeeping
I shuffle from foot to foot, in the same way my practical mind struggles with striking a balance between a fulfilled life chasing a decade-long dream and a life that focuses more on monetary gains.
These weeks, as the autumn chill sweeps over the city, my thoughts are everywhere – back home in Singapore where my family is going through some not-so-easy times; here in Buenos Aires where after five years of residence I have finally carved a nest that I can almost call home; and then, in various parts elsewhere in the world, where I wish I could experience life.
It’s hard to keep your heart still when it’s in so many places all at once; and on the days that I find it difficult to be calm and gathered, I am reminded of the quote above, one that first greeted me as my best friend Jin’s email signature.
I’d seen the quote a long time before, but a few weeks ago, when she emailed me a recipe for gluten-free lemon cake, there it was again, staring right back at me.
I read those lines over and over again, and as the words took root in my emotion-filled heart and practicality-ruled head, I gathered my thoughts from all over, and captured the essence of the quote.
And it is true – that no matter how many zeros I may have in my account, or how many apartments I may have in my name, or how many awards and promotions I may be given, at the end of the day, there are few things that actually matter.
Things that are intangible as opposed to material; things that create long-lasting memories instead of short-lived pleasures; and more than anything – love.
Love of this moment in life where I have homes in two vastly different and hugely far apart places in the world. Where both Buenos Aires and Singapore hold people that are so incredibly dear to me, in such distinct ways.
Love of every single member in my family, even if our differences in views may sometimes keep us at a distance. And of friendships – for which I am proud to say that these amazing people are strong pillars that keep me going – just like you Jin. And love of Juan, the guy who stole my heart in Germany, and for whom I shifted my life across the globe for.
Love of the golden sunshine cast upon the green fields just before the sun sets. Of the auburn reds and browns that crown the trees during autumn, and that fall like fairy dust onto the ground. Of the thronging of vibrancy that pounds the city pavement, and of the bright twinkling lights that outline the landscape of this charming Porteño city.
And mostly, love of life itself. There’s too much to describe, too much to be felt, simply too much to grasp with my bare hands.
And on these colder autumn days, which demand nothing less than a woolen sweater, warm boots and comfy jeams, nothing says love for your soul as much as a large bowl of warm cream of broccoli soup.
Thick, rich and filling, this is the kind that warms you from the inside out.
The kind that can be sipped slowly or drank with unabashed abandon.
The kind that goes well alone or drizzled with a bit of cream and sprinkled with fresh thyme. The kind that makes amazing company for crackers and cream cheese.
Whichever way you choose to eat it, this is love in a bowl.
- 1 large head of broccoli, florets only
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium-sized bunch of spring onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves + more for garnish
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- In a large pot, heat up 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, and cook the broccoli florets, diced onions, chopped spring onions, cubed potatoes and fresh thyme leaves until the onions are soft (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally to prevent vegetables from burning
- Add in vegetable stock, bring heat down to low, and let all the ingredients simmer for 20 - 30 minutes
- Once vegetables are done simmering in the stock, switch off heat and let it cool for 10 minutes
- Pour vegetables and stock into a blender (in 2 - 3 parts if necessary) and blend until soup reaches the desired consistency
- When all the vegetables and stock have been blended, pour soup back into the pot and heat gently until ready to serve
- Serve with a touch of cream, garnish with fresh thyme leaves. Accompany with crackers and cream cheese (optional)