Patience is our ally; patience is the flame that keeps the starter alive. Patience is the essential ingredient for making delicious soups, matured preserves and succulent stews. Now, however, we also feel the need to combine patience with social and family action and organisation, be it organic or otherwise, with nearby residents, within the neighbourhood and glocal.

Spirit, urgency and patience co-exist in our chat. We share links, slow readings and solidarity and immediate action initiatives related to food that connect us with issues we have worked on in recent sessions, such as agroecology, extensive livestock systems, popular veganism and ecofeminism.

In The Kitchen, through the working group and guest specialists, we have developed a critical discourse concerning the agricultural industry that we are trying to put into practice. Even so, we acknowledge there are contradictions and we have more questions than certainties, though this does not by any means prevent us from finding shared ground.

We know that not everyone nor all the shops in our neighbourhoods will have the privilege or enjoy the circumstances that make it possible for them to favour small producers. That said, we know that if long-distance food transport becomes difficult, we will have to support local production and distribution chains and will be dependent on them as never before. Perhaps this will, in many respects, be an improvement.

We advocate agroecology and proximity. That is why this week we are sharing a recipe for thyme soup and a list of producers and growers that you can check out at https://arrandeterra.org/abastiment/.

Thyme soup

We cooked thyme soup last November at the Soup Party organised by the Servei Civil Internacional de Catalunya as part of the Festival de Cultura Raval(s), during which social organisation, patience and the bubbling of simmering soups not only co-existed but were essential.

At that time, we chose this recipe because it is easy and cheap to make, flavoursome, local and antibiotic. We’re returning to it now because we see the importance of medicinal plants and of this type of recipe, the classic recipes, those that have the ability to adapt, to cure and survive over the years. Even so, this is not to say that classic dishes cannot be hacked. We praise thyme because we place care at the heart of what we do and because we appreciate its scent every day as it issues from windows, balconies and rooftop terraces, while we applause those who care for us. Let us care for ourselves!

Procedure:

Sweat the onion in the olive oil in the saucepan you will make the soup in. Add the bread, stir and then add the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately five minutes. Add the salt and a little more olive oil. Continue to stir till the bread breaks down into the soup. Add the garlic and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the sprigs of thyme and leave to simmer till the kitchen is filled with its scent.

Garlic is antibiotic and miraculous; thyme stimulates, is antiseptic and aids the circulation and digestion.

Make herbal teas using thyme, find your own ways of making soup using leftovers, with or without onion, with tomato when in season, with or without bread, invent, ask, share, simmer for longer or for less time, add or leave out the garlic or sprigs of herbs, add pepper or mint at the end if you have it and enjoy the sounds and heat of the simmering.
 

The artist has to face the unknown with a positive mood and sink his teeth in without fear.
Eduardo Chillida