Today I made soup…

The letter for today is ‘s’ after some hesitation, variation and mental revising along the way…

Today I decided to make soup using a recipe from a Coles free recipe magazine that the store publishes every month, but inserting my own variations. This is my favourite way to cook a dish, following instructions that I know will give the right foundation and then adding or subtracting certain ingredients to make the outcome a little bit of a mystery.

Why soup? It’s not even winter here. March is our first autumn month and autumn in Australia barely touches the sides of summer. The temperatures hover around 32 degrees C (90 F) most days, but today is a little cooler, so soup seemed like an appropriate option.

Original recipe

The recipe uses chicken, lentils, cauliflower, onion, tikka masala curry paste and chicken stock with coconut cream and baby spinach leaves added towards the end. I made a vegetarian version without chicken, using a lot more cauliflower, put in some sweet potato and tripled the tikka paste suggested in the recipe. I also cooked the lentils differently. The preparation was simple and rewarding as I had plenty of time and we all agreed, the soup tasted both nourishing and delicious!

My version of spiced chicken lentil and cauliflower soup minus the chicken!

As I thought about my slice and using up my ‘s’ to write about soup preparation, I glimpsed a connection with writing. We sit down to write and usually we have some sort of foundation or recipe to get us going. Then, as the writing starts to take shape, our thoughts or imagination will alter the original form or our ingredients and our writing journey truly begins and hopefully sweeps us into a better version at the end!

The letter ‘s’ is probably the easiest letter to sound. Who can’t sound like a snake in the grass? Its great squiggly form is also easy to teach and doesn’t take too long to get the hang of although sometimes it can lie at a rather strange angle on the line until kids work out how to write it ‘standing tall’. The problem with the capital being the same shape is that you often can’t tell whether a student has remembered to write it as a big letter or not.

The many variations of S

The other problem is that there is no plural of nouns in the Khasi language (it’s a very simple language that was oral until the British used the Roman alphabet to write it down about 250 years ago). So students are always forgetting to add the ‘s’. It takes a lot of repetition to remind them that in English there is a difference, ‘one bird’, ‘two birdssss’, ‘one girl’, ‘two girlssss’. Ironically, with words like ‘children’ and ‘sheep’, students will often add the ‘s’ without being told, so we have to use the reverse process, ‘there are no sheeps just, sheeppppp’, ‘no childrens, just childrennnnn’.

S is another super sensationally useful letter that is also fun to write!

6 thoughts on “Today I made soup…

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