I don't like January. Actually no, "don't like" suggests a sort of trivial little thing, something that rarely even crosses my mind, entirely inconsequential, but it's something much more than that. I absolutely, completely and totally loathe January.
I know it's ridiculous, it's just a month, one out of twelve. In the grand scheme of things it's nothing at all, or at least nothing important enough for words like loathe to be thrown around, but nevertheless here I am doing just that.
It's just such a miserable month isn't it? It's not that I mind the cold per se, but in January it seems to never-endingly stretch itself out, last summer feeling as though it could've been years ago and spring feeling as though it's never going to come. The freezing weather fits in with December, Christmas wouldn't be right without braving it home through the miserable weather for hot chocolate, mulled wine and a night curled up on the sofa under a blanket or next to the fire, but by January the cold weather has seriously over stayed it's welcome and, worse still, it isn't even really on it's way out yet.
One thing that I hate almost as much as January is mushroom soup. Mushrooms? Delicious. Soup? Yes please! But put them together and I just can't stand it. Mushrooms were not, I think, designed to be blended to within an inch of their lives, the colour of mushroom soup is enough to prove that; a sort of grey-brown sludge which, even if it's your favourite food, isn't the most appetising sight I hope you'll agree. But then this recipe turned up and I had to try it. Mushroom soup but not as I‘d known it before, big chunks of porcini mushrooms, cubes of waxy new potatoes and sweet little lumps of chestnut all floating together in a rich mushroom broth with a generous helping of rosemary and a slick of grassy extra virgin olive oil, perfect to sop up with torn chunks of crusty bread. My kind of mushroom soup.
The recipe is over on 101 Cookbooks along with a beautiful picture.
I shouldn't really be complaining about January anymore, it's over now and I should be grateful for that but, truth be told, I've never been all that fond of February either.