A Year in Chicken Soup

 

A series by Hattie Garlick

 

Eid Mubarak! As I type, the smell of toasted spices and marinated meat sinews through the window, open to the cold air just a fraction of a gap. Below, small groups gather excitedly on doorsteps before disappearing within, behind warm lit windows that glow enticingly in the darkness.

Join Hattie Garlick for the final instalment of A Year in Chicken Soup. After twelve months of culinary globetrotting via soups from Cambodia to Syria, Mexico to Nigeria, she returns to these shores for a final get-together with friends old and new round a soothing bowl of Cock-a-Leekie.

Have you read Only in London, by Hanan Al Shaykh? There’s a passage in it that describes one of the main characters, freshly arrived in the UK, making a to-do list. ‘This is going to become my country’ she writes, ‘I’ve stopped living a temporary life. And so, she must learn to speak English properly, look for a job and ‘Stop eating Arab food – not because the garlic and coriander make my breath smell, but because this kind of food makes me feel safe and secure and reminds me of childhood and home.’