Pea Soup

I don’t always eat vegetables, but when I do I eat vegetables that I don’t particularly like.

The other day I made pea and mint soup. This involves lots of heavy cans of peas which have to be carried an inordinately long distance to my kitchen, twigs from a mint tree or bush or whatever, an onion, and a bunch of other stuff I found in my cupboards – stock cubes, herbs, spices, dust, lint and so on.

Making soup is one of the more boring things one can do with the above ingredients, so I put on some hard-rockin’ tunes to entertain me while I cooked – which, in hindsight, was an error.

You see, soup doesn’t make itself. You can’t just chuck vegetation in a pot, apply fire and water in a manner in which their effects don’t counteract, and expect soup to form. At some point you – the culinary artiste – have to get involved. You have to blend the soup, to turn it from a bunch of floating and/or sinking stuff, into something that somehow looks even more disgusting when served with warm crusty bread.

So I went to the cupboard, moved aside the foot-long purple thing that buzzes when used, and got my blender – which also happens to be about a foot long, purple, and buzzes when used. It has an end with a power cable, an end where I’ll never put my fingers again, and is pretty good at turning non-mushy things into mushy things.

Soup has been around for a long time – tens of thousands of years – but I’m pretty sure our ancient soup-eating ancestors didn’t have blenders. They probably used sticks instead, and just hit the soup until it was smooth and thick and creamy. They probably used the same stick as a microphone and a guitar too – because that’s what I used my blender for.

As soon as it was in my hands I forgot about the soup. After all, there was music; I was on the stage of my kitchen, wearing my hard-rock underwear, and I had an adoring audience of simmering vegetables. It was my duty – nay, my calling – to perform.

I won’t recount all the details of the show – I couldn’t do it justice with mere words. You had to be there, man. Safe to say my singing was pretty mind-blowing – I’m pretty sure a couple of the peas in the front row fainted. A couple of them threw their shells up on stage with me. Mint leaves crowd-surfed over the peas’ heads; security escorted a couple of over-excited pieces of onion from the arena, and there were at least three asthma attacks.

And, of course, I couldn’t leave without an encore. The next tune was a distortion-laden, riff-heavy beast of a track, so I stopped using the blender as a microphone when I realised I could hold it horizontally, cradle it like a guitar, assume a wide-legged stance and bang my head up and down while hitting the on button furiously in time with the music.

RRRM! RRRM! RRRM-RRRM-RRRM-RRRM-RRRM! RRRM-RRRM!
RRRM-RRRM-RRRM! RRRM-RRRM! RRRM-RRRM!
RRRM! RRRM! RRRM-RRRM-RRRM-RRRM-RRRM! RRRM-RRRM!
RRRM-RRRM-RRRM! RRRM-RRRM! RRRM-RRRM!

The neighbours joined in about mid-way through the song, adding percussion, which was pretty nice of them. To be honest the blender was only capable of a single note, so it added to the tunefulness not-inconsiderably.

RRRM-RRRM-RRRRRRM! RRRM-RRRM-RRRRRRM!
RRRM-RRRM-RRRM-RRRM! RRRM-RRRM-RRRRRRM!
RRRM-RRRM-RRRRRRM! RRRM-RRRM-RRRRRRM!
RRRM-RRRM-RRRM-RRRM! RRRM-RRRM-RRRRRRM!

Towards the end of the song there was a key change, a rise in the pitch and intensity of my playing. I also noticed a smell. It was kind of like burning plastic, or hot metal, or both. It was a pretty rock-n-roll smell. Maybe some of my fans were burning litter in the arena, I thought – failing to consider the possibility that the motor on a blender might not appreciate being used as a guitar for the duration of a six-minute song.

So, when it was all over, I bid the crowd good night, went back stage, did a couple of lines of coriander, convinced a couple of young peas to make out, slept with them both, then went back to my soup.

But there was a problem. The blender wasn’t blending. I looked at the end where I’ll never put my fingers again and discovered that the blades were refusing to spin. The blender made a credible guitar-type noise when I hit the button, but that’s all. It was useless. I should have smashed it onstage at the end of my song.

So I went out and found a stick and tried to blend my soup the old-fashioned way, by hitting it like we probably did thousands of years before the invention of blenders. I spent ages on it, but it didn’t really work. The secrets of pre-blender soup-eating civilisation had been lost to time, and that evening I found myself choking down lumpy, horrible soup, remembering my faded glory days of sell-out kitchen tours and wondering where it all went wrong.

And to top it all off, I think one of my backstage guests had herpeas.

 

6 thoughts on “Pea Soup”

  1. You’re in good company here. I tend to rap while I do the washing up. The other day, a cup did a drive-by on me as it slipped into the bowl and splashed me. I guess that’s part of the game.

  2. I heat the oven to 500 degrees, fill it with water and sawdust, and then fling it open 30 minutes for some flashy pyrotechnics. The steam burns covering my face and arms is a small sacrifice compared to the roar of the audience (the popcorn in the microwave).

  3. Herpeas… You should see a doctor for that. Especially before you reach the age where you’re an old rock star who’s become cool again.

  4. I don’t know what I’d do without my handheld blender. Thanks for warning about what could happen should I decide to rock out to a six-minute tune with it. Rest in pieces, Blender-Guitar-Microphone. 🙁 Ye shall be missed.

    -Barb

  5. Oh my god, “herpeas.”

    I was laughing through the whole thing, but that about knocked me off my chair!

    FYI, future reference, you can make split pea soup without a blender by just cooking them on low for like, a million hours…okay, like 6 hours…and they’ll turn all soft and mushy just like the pea-flavored green baby-poop we all know and love.

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