Yesterday afternoon Andy said, “Let’s go on a family outing. How about we run along the bush track, the one on the other side of town?”
“But it’s cold and windy,” I protested, looking out the window at the grey sky and swaying trees. “It’s not really the right sort of day for being outside.”
“We could be brave and adventurous.”
I thought about this: We could go Saturday afternoon shopping as usual or we could do something different. I yelled, "Girls, do you want to go for a run? Get your gear on!”
Anticipating we'd be hungry after running, we filled some thermos flasks with coffee and hot chocolate, and wrapped up some freshly made brownies.
Soon we were running in a line along the bush track, me in front, Andy in the rear and four girls between us. We crossed several creeks; climbed a few sets of stairs cut into the rock; picked our way over stony ground, trying not to turn our ankles; skirted around several mud puddles, formed after recent rain; sprinted along several almost level stretches of path; danced over tree roots, hoping no one would trip and dive over the cliff; ran through the shady casuarina cutting and then panted up a few long steep hills, before turning around and doing it all again in reverse order, as we headed back towards the van.
As our feet pounded along the track, I thought about how times change. Not so long ago, we could only walk along the track as far as we could carry the baby and swing the toddler. We always had to turn round and return before we were ready. The youngest members of the family always determined the distance the rest of us could walk. Then a year or so ago, because we no longer had little ones, we managed to walk the whole track for the very first time. And yesterday we didn’t just walk the track, we ran it.
When we returned to our starting point after running 5 kms, we climbed into the van, out of the wind, tired and hungry and ready for our post-run afternoon tea.
But despite the brownies, we were still hungry when we arrived home. “What shall we have for dinner?” Imogen asked, as we stumbled through the front door.
“Zucchini and leek soup!” What could be more perfect than soup on a cold evening when we are hungry but too tired to cook something more complicated?
Imogen cut up the vegetables while the rest of us took turns showering, and it wasn’t long before a huge pan full of soup was simmering on the stove.
Just in case you’d like to make this soup, I’ll write out the recipe. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Maybe it will become one of your favourite recipes too.
Zucchini and Leek soup
- Place in a large pan, and add enough vegetable or chicken stock to cover the chopped vegetables
- Bring to boil, then simmer until the vegetables are cooked
- Puree or blend
- Add cream, as much as you like!
By the way, we aren’t too fussy about our measurements. We made enough soup for 8 ravenous people with some left over for the next day. Just use whatever zucchinis, carrots, potatoes and leeks you have. The soup will always turn out perfectly delicious.
Andy made a pile of garlic toast, Imogen filled bowls and then we enjoyed!
“Didn’t we have a fantastic afternoon?” asked Andy. We all nodded.
"We didn't spend a cent but we had a great time together."
"We should do this every weekend.”
“Where shall we run next Saturday afternoon?”
And what will we eat when we return? Perhaps we can make a big pan full of Andy’s Amazing Tomato Soup.
Anyone want to join us for a run and some soup?
PS I don't have a photo of the soup. It was eaten and enjoyed before I even thought of taking a picture of it. Instead I've added a photo of 5 tired but happy runners. The 6th runner is Imogen who was behind the camera!