Midnight soup

Midnight soup was a recipe my dear aunty often made on special family occasions and we adopted it and used to make it for Christmas Eve. When my children were small we would have a houseful on Christmas Eve, the four of us and my father, my aunt and uncle,  my mother-in-law and my sister.

Midnight soup is unctuous and lovely, thick, rich, and delicious  it is a beef soup with baby onions, button mushrooms, sherry, port, brandy and I would always add fruit such as prunes or apricots to contrast with the richness of the cream which was also in it. It was spiced with paprika and a little chilli, and I added some warm Christmas spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and it was thick and dark and smooth and warm and lovely. We no longer have it as we are usually just four on Christmas Eve, but this year I am hosting the book club Christmas part and I thought it would be rather nice to be eaten with crusty bread while we are chatting about everything including books!

The book we are discussing at our party is ‘A Long, Long Way’ by Sebastian Barry; we read his ‘The Secret Scripture’  some time ago and we all really enjoyed it but I shall reserve judgement on this one, it is not quite my sort of thing although beautifully written. There are only five of us in our group and I have to confess I do not often like the books we discuss… and the group don’t always enjoy the ones I suggest! However, we so enjoy each other’s company, that the discussion of books is merely an excuse to get together and catch up with all our news and talk about almost anything you can think of!

So, getting ready for the book club party and I went to check the midnight soup recipe… and I can’t find it! Nothing daunted I looked on-line but all the soup recipes I found were nothing like the one Beryl originally made. Luckily her children, my cousins will have it so all is not lost – nor is the soup!

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