Soup Of Life



Grey skies
hanging heavy
winter calls
as the wind howls
through secret gaps
in the window frames



The day has become
like our passing years
not bright enough
a little harsh
and willing to leave us cold



Life has not been kind
we deserve so much more
but still
we hang in there
wounded soldiers
learning to lay our weapons low
time teaching us
there is more to life
than waging war



This day
this beautiful moment
is all that matters
to be sitting here with you
a glowing fire
warm soup
loving food
while we talk and laugh
of the days gone
days to come
grand illusions of the world
and all those things
we now understand



is all that matters
serving each other
with simplicity
our souls nourished
by the healing soup of life



Hello everyone, it’s good to be back!!  I hope the sound and vision helped to imagine this scene of winter warmness, but don’t watch all three hours of it!  For those of you in a warm climate, you will  have to rely on your imagination as to how chilled it is in Britain at the moment!

The poem was inspired after a visit to see my cousin a few months ago when the weather was just beginning to show signs of turning cold, so a fire was lit and soup served.  I had taken some soup with me for her to try (which she liked very much) so it was based on the enjoyment of home-made soup combined with some great conversation.

Financially it was a cheap way to spend time with a loved one, but spiritually it was worth more than any money could buy.  Conversation and sharing of how life is treating you is sometimes worth so much more than a trip to the cinema, theatre, or a game.

I’ve included in this post the recipe for that parsnip soup, if you want to try it just click on the image and save.  You must be all thinking this is a little unusual for me to be posting recipes on here – it is, but there is a reason.  I wanted to share something that I discovered after eating that soup.

I know parsnips are often not liked for their strong flavour, in fact I used to hate them intensely.  But after trying just about every kind of soup recipe I could imagine, I felt I really should at least try creating a parsnip soup.  I’m so glad I did, and to my total surprise I not only loved it, but discovered eating it on a regular basis healed my hands of a horrible dry skin condition.

I’d suffered with that dry skin for fifteen years, not much help from doctors, and I had to use buckets of hand-cream just to keep my skin from cracking up.  It’s difficult to explain without showing you just how painful and horrific it was to live with.  It’s strange how skin conditions are rarely seen as serious, but believe me, for some people they really can be.  What starts out as a minor dry skin condition can very quickly become a major one!

Eating parsnip soup three or four times a week has given me a complete cure.  It’s a real miracle for me to finally have normal skin again.  And it seems to have also cured my low blood sugar problems I’ve suffered with to varying degrees from my teenage years – it’s so good to be free of that dreadful feeling!

Parsnips have a very high nutritional value, and contain a number of vitamins and minerals that can help with skin problems (zinc being one of them) which is often lacking with anyone suffering with dry skin.  Also it seems in order for the body to absorb zinc we need copper in our bodies too.  Parsnips are high in copper, so perhaps that’s one of the reasons why they have worked so effectively for me.

Zinc supplements have never done anything for my skin problems and often they fail to contain copper.  I found recently when researching some information on zinc, a lot of zinc tablets contain zinc oxide, which is completely useless, the body can’t use it.  Zinc oxide is frequently used in cosmetics and sunscreen lotions, but it should never be sold as a supplement for the body.  Even today with a multitude of information available to us, it’s amazing what kinds of snake oil companies will get away with selling!   So if you know someone who has a chronic dry skin condition, tell them to try adding parsnips to their diet, especially in the form of soup, I find the good effects from parsnips on my skin to be more effective as soup than any other way of eating them.

The cashew nuts in this soup recipe help to make the soup creamy, but if you’re still not keen on the taste, try adding a little milk or cream, this will tone down the flavour of the parsnips a lot, making the soup taste completely different.  And if you want to spice this soup up, then add some chilli, black pepper or garlic.  Sometimes I add small pieces of chicken once the soup has been blended, and leave to cook again for 5-10 minutes, the flavour from the chicken works really well with parsnips.

Oh, and just a little note about the salt in here – if you like to use stock cubes or any other kind of stock that contains salt (DON’T ADD THE SALT). Please taste it first – then add salt.  If you’d like to see some more of my recipes here’s a few links. 

Mushroom Soup    Hummus    Salsa Dip

Hope you enjoy them!



brushed gold


36 thoughts on “Soup Of Life

  1. What a lovely poem! I can feel the warmth of the fire, the good conversation and the hot soup. Even though it’s 60 outside, it still made me feel the cold winter again and the solace you received from your visit with your cousin. I guess that’s the one good thing about winter, is that soup is so much appreciated, and being indoors is necessary so you may as well have good company and a hot meal!

    1. I’m glad you felt that cold winter and the warm bits too, even in that heat of yours! 😉 It’s true, winter does make you appreciate soup a lot more. Because I need the parsnips to keep my skin in good condition I eat the soup all year round, but it’s more enjoyable in winter. I know some like chilled soup in summer, but I’ve never liked cold soup, just doesn’t have the same flavour about it. And good company on damp cold wintry soup days is always appreciated! 🙂

  2. Brilliant message and words:

    “we hang in there
    wounded soldiers
    learning to lay our weapons low
    time teaching us
    there is more to life
    than waging war”

    Sounds like a wonderful soup : ) Yummy! I absolutely love cashews! It’s amazing how natural things we eat and drink can cure things. You just happened by chance to find out that parsnips helps dry skin. A wonderful discovery! Thanks for sharing that information on zinc. Yes, definitely stay away from oxide. If you use elemental zinc or zinc gluconate that is much better. Glad you found something to heal your skin. Have a fabulous weekend!

    1. Oh, thank you very much! 🙂 Yes, I love cashews too, they’re a lovely mild tasting nut. I had to avoid nuts for quite a few years as they always caused stomach pains, but I seem to be over that now, it’s nice to enjoy them again – I eat plenty of them! It was totally by chance – good job I had a obsession with creating vegetable soups, otherwise I would probably have never discovered parsnip power! 🙂

      It’s useful to know a bit about various minerals especially if we consume them in pill form. At least the information is out there, takes a lot of time to do the research though. I prefer to take my vitamins and minerals in food if I can, I feel I’ve a better chance of knowing what I’m actually throwing into my body. And the bonus of healed skin is just wonderful! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, you always sound so lovely cheerful!! 😀

  3. This is an awesome post on so many levels – I loved your poem and the warmth it evoked, and I loved the way you added that fireside video to help it along, and then that wonderful story about parsnip soup! I have a friend who also suffers from dry skin condition on his hands – I should recommend this post to him 🙂 I really admire your love for words and your creativity in blending different ways to convey your message! I hope you keep writing, so I can keep reading~

    1. Thank you very much! 😀 Yes, I thought the fire would be a bit of fun. I had a really striking gif of a log fire which I almost used, but I thought the sounds were more important for the feel of the poem – I needed a sound gif! Not many of those around at the moment, and often you can only enjoy them not share them.

      I hope your friend finds some benefit from this, it really has been a major skin saver to me, changed the quality of my life to a great extent. There’s nothing worse than having to use loads of cream on sore skin, and even then it’s still not OK. Much better to find a cure! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and thank you for taking the time to comment! 🙂

  4. A lots of changes here! Have not been around for quite some time and have missed a lot of wonderful posts from many great bloggers like you.
    There is something so peaceful and tranquil about the poem. Too much of haste and hate has affected our lives badly. Should have some soup for myself and my dear ones..
    Thanks for sharing the recipe and your experience. I too face a lot of problems with my skin. Sometimes it is too dry that I have to dunk myself in creams. And on hot days I sweat even on my palms and feet. It is such a mess. I have started drinking litres of water and I can feel it on my skin.

    1. Yes, I’d noticed you’d been gone a while, it’s lovely to hear from you again!! 🙂 But it’s good to take a break every now and then, reading lots of posts and commenting can be quite hard work sometimes, and if there’s too much going on it’s best to step back a bit until your ready for it again.

      Thank you, yes very true, we really don’t need hate or haste, but it tries very hard to work it’s way into our lives sometimes, can be a battle to keep it out!

      Oh yes I know that feeling – I’ve got through a whole load of creams over the years! I found a lot of creams I couldn’t use, just seemed to make the condition worse, it took me a while to find the right ones for my skin. Maybe parsnips would help you too? Water is very important especially if you are losing a lot in the heat, yes, drink lots! I can imagine it must be really uncomfortable in very hot weather, sweating can really make dry skin a lot worse, I’ve found that in summer too, but also very cold weather has a bad effect as well, especially on hands and face. It seems our skins really don’t like extremes of weather – if only it could be a perfect temperature all the time!! 😀

  5. Hi Suzy, thanks for visiting & commenting on my blog today 🙂
    I’m pleased to discover you & your work! My daughter is 5 & has suffered from eczema since birth – but I’m glad to say that she’s getting much better & only gets it in the creases of her arms now. Thanks so much for the parsnip top – I will definitely try it!
    Lovely poem that made me hanker after a real winter – here in Qld Australia we have air cons & fans blasting away 😉

    1. You have an interesting blog and I enjoyed reading Bianca, and I’ll certainly be visiting again, and very pleased to discover you too, and thank you for returning the visit!! 🙂 I only post every 4-6 weeks on here now, but I do try to get round to everyone I’m following once a week, so I shall be back to read some more of yours!

      That’s good to hear your daughter is recovering from eczema! My mother told me I had it as a baby on my wrists for a few months, and then I it came back again when I was a teenager. It is strange how for some they have it all the time and others have it for a short time, and it’s quite common for young children to have it for a few years and then it’s gone. Finding soaps that don’t irritate the skin was one of the worst problems I’ve had, even now I stick to the gentle baby ones with the least ingredients listed. But it’s a little annoying when I get used to a soap, and the company suddenly stops making it! 😦

      I hope the parsnips help, as long as your daughter is OK with them? I don’t think there would have been any chance of my mother succeeding in feeding me parsnips when I was 5, I hated them so much!!! I have found ways of disguising their taste though – there’s always a way!

      Thank you, ah yes a real winter! Of course Australia is just a little warmer!! 😉 In the height of the summer heat in the UK we do start fantasizing for cool winter days, and then when winter is here, we long for summer – never satisfied! But in the summer I don’t think I’d want to see or hear that video of the fire though, might subconsciously heat me up too much! 😀

  6. So glad you’re back! Beautiful words and wonderful recipes. Been so cold and dry here, I will definitely be making that soup!

    1. Thank you Susan! 🙂 It’s good to be back! Oh yes, soup is a good winter warmer, but the weather is changing fast, before we know it, we’ll be craving those ice cold drinks to cool us down!! 😀

  7. I’m going to try parsnips, who knew? My son and I both suffer from dry skin all winter. He can’t have cashews, though, poor guy is allergic. I make tons of homemade soup, though, and I’ll find one that tastes good with parsnip. Possibly sausage and kale… As for cold soup, I only had one I like — fruit soup. You whisk together orange juice and yogurt with cinnamon and nutmeg, and then pour it over berries of your choice. It’s delish, but if you are off citrus, you might want to wait for summer. 🙂

    You changed your gravatar and name, so it threw me when you left me comments on my blog, but as soon as I thought about it, I recognized your voice. Isn’t that funny, that I would recognize your voice from only a few comments? 🙂 Cheers, Brenda

    1. Another one with dry skin – I thought there would be quite a few who might benefit from this. I’ve been planning this one in the back of my mind for nearly four months! I’m getting a lot of Google searches for my blog everyday now, thanks to Mr Charles Buwkowski and Pablo Neruda’s poetry on here, so I thought it would be a good time to share the secret, hoping that some passing by may be helped as well as WordPress friends. 🙂

      Oh yes, the nut allergy, very frustrating that! 😦 I used to suffer from a nut intolerance, used to get terrible stomach pains, but I seem to be OK now, so I’ve started to include nuts into my diet as much as I can. But the good news with this soup is you don’t have to include cashew nuts at all. I should have mentioned that. When I first started experimenting with this recipe I never thought of including the nuts, so I know the parsnips are definitely effective on their own. Mixing it with another vegetable is a good idea, sweet potato is a very good one to disguise the taste of parsnip – very tasty, and looks so attractive too. Tomatoes are useful for disguising a lot, but I’ve found I need to avoid them at the moment as well as citrus fruit because eating those undoes all the good the parsnips create. I wish I had realised that certain fruit (pineapple – oranges – lemons – kiwi) can be very drying on the skin. I’m hoping that maybe one day my body will be ready to eat them again. If you get some useful benefits I’d be really interested to know!

      Oh yes, sorry about that – did I not say anything when I arrived on your blog? I know I remembered to point out to some blog friends that I was the same Suzy as before, but a bit like you some of them guessed. It is strange how we know a written voice, but we do! I’ve had friends say “I knew it was you because of the way you knocked on the door” I think we all have little patterns that make us stand out for who we are. Well, I’m glad you figured out who I was, but the blue face isn’t mine by the way, I’m just borrowing her! 😉

      1. The blue face I didn’t recognize as you. Too sad somehow, when your voice always seems cheery to me. I already avoid citrus because it gives me mouth sores when undiluted, but the yogurt balances it and lets me eat it. My son’s throat closes, and he will likely never be able to eat nuts of any sort. Cream might do the trick. I will try it. 🙂

  8. Welcome Back Ms Suzy!!!! This is exactly what our world needs more of….I love this…because it’s filled with so much love and compassion. You can feel the gratefulness of being able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Enjoying great friends, and those we meet on our life’s journey. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

    1. Thank you so much Alisha, that means a lot!! 🙂 Ah yes, life’s simple pleasures – I suppose I have always enjoyed the simple things of life, but I’m finding now some of those moments are feeling more profound than they used to. Must be something to do with age I’m sure. 😉 Or maybe just understanding more about life, myself and others around me. What ever it is, it’s a good place to be! 🙂

  9. Your warm fire, talk of soup and conversation sounds so inviting. I doubt I’ll make the parsnip soup, but I’m so happy that it’s cured your dry skin. Loved the song, too.

    My favorite soup is pumpkin. I like it chilled. Had it that way at a French restaurant years ago and am still trying to perfect the recipe. Coming close. 😉

    Great hearing from you again. Please take care.

    1. Thank you Judy! 🙂 Are parsnips not a favourite of yours? It’s funny, I’ve never tried pumpkin – not even once. Neither of my parents liked pumpkin, so we never had it all, and I’ve never got into it as an adult either. Does it taste a bit like butternut squash? They always look a bit like pumpkin on the inside. I’ve made butternut squash and sweet potato soup, that’s really delicious, wonderful colour too!

      I’ve only ever had one soup that was chilled and that was beetroot soup, and as much as I absolutely love cold cooked beetroot – I really didn’t like that chilled soup! 😦 I don’t think I’m a cold soup girl – not sure why. Maybe hot soup goes better with our chilly climate and it’s what I’m used to. But I shall have to try some pumpkins now. Thanks for reminding me! 🙂

      1. Suzy, it might be similar to butternut squash. I think I’ve had that. Adding sweet potato to it does sound yummy. I do love heated pumpkin soup as well. But I also love pumpkin: muffin, bread, bagel, etc. 😉

        I’ve made gazpacho soup. That’s chilled and it’s very good. I also had chilled cucumber yogurt soup in a Middle Eastern restaurant in Las Vegas. Also excellent.

  10. Hi Suzy, its great to see you back! What a fabulous post for us all to come back to! Ah there’s nothing quite like a crackling log fire, hot soup and good company.

    Your poem is a delight and the whole post is a reminder to keep grounded in the simple things in life which are the most inportant.

    I love this song too! My favourite recording of it is by Keane. I bought their album with this track on it in 2005. Believe it or not I had never flown; Ive always had a fear of flying. But I was determined to do it and we went for a week to Rome. I took the CD with me on a Sony Walkman and played it all the way through the flight to keep me occupied! It worked. I wont say I enjoyed the flight but I did it and have done it since but only a few times and only to Ireland! So this song gave me some wonderful feelings while I was listening to it here.

    I will definitely try this parsnip soup! And my two daughters both have awful dry skin problems on their hands; they crack open in cold weather and can bleed. So I will tell them about it!

    A big welcome back!😊 xx

    1. Thank you so much Christine!! 🙂 Oh yes, I love those crackling log fires! I’d wish I had a real fire in my home, but I’ve got one of those clever imitation ones, nice to look at, goes well with winter soup, and is a lot easier to look after! 😉

      Yes, that was the inspiration behind the poem, the simple things of life. It’s good to talk out certain subjects with friends or relatives, it eases the mind a little. We are all the same in some ways and connection with others is the essence of life. I have a habit of spending a lot of time on my own, I guess I lean towards the loner a bit too much these days. I like my own company – it’s nice and peaceful! 🙂 But I do need to be reminded to get out more, and have more conversations really. It certainly gives me something to write about anyway!

      I love the original version by Keane too – it’s a favourite of mine! I thought the Lily Allen version was soft and sweet, but Keane’s version is definitely the best!

      I’m sure you’re not alone with that fear of flying, and that’s great to hear you’ve overcome it all, fears are very controlling – so well done in squashing that one! 😀 Rome?! Sounds a wonderful place to start your foreign holidays with! When you have an album like that, one that relates to a specific time or holiday, it really does bring the memories back when you listen to it again. It’s a perfect way to capture the feeling and memory of a holiday – in a song!

      Oh yes, do tell your daughters about the parsnip therapy! I know winter causes a lot people problems with sore skin, but it could be that they have a mild case of dry skin – which is very common. I also found that avoiding citrus fruits helped too, pineapple and tomatoes being the worst offenders, they seem undo all the positive effects that the parsnips create, which is worth knowing, something I’d wished I’d discovered a long time ago, would have saved me a lot of suffering. Also avoiding hot water and using baby soaps with simple or natural ingredients all helps. If your daughters are in need of some hand soothing ‘Helping Hands’ hand cream from Lush is an amazing healing hand cream, very good at binding cracks in the skin back together (all very natural ingredients). I don’t know how I would have survived at my worst times without that cream. I’ve tried loads of creams over the years and nothing else works like that one. Here’s a link if they are interested.

      And thank you – it’s definitely good to be back! 😀

      1. Oh Suzy thanks so much for the link! I know they will have tried all sorts and they are both into very natural vegan remedies but Im sure Lush is all natural and they may not have tried it. will pass the information onto them. My mum suffered from it too so it seems like it runs in the family. Fortunately its one thing I don’t have to contend with, but I do know from my daughters how horrible it can be.

        A friend with MS has just gone to Rome for the week and she is putting her travels on facebook! Its bringing back all the memories of a fabulous holiday made all the more special by conquering my fear of flying. If Im ever out somewhere and a track from the Keane album comes on it always stops me in my tracks for a few minutes! 😄

        So pleased youre back! 😊 Xx

        1. Oh well, the Lush company may be ideal for them, they have loads of vegan products, and even better they are a British company too! Handy place Facebook, to put your holiday adventures on!! 🙂

  11. Good to see you back. Actually, I could feel the cold, then the warmth as I was reading through your poem.

    I might try that soup. I think I have the same problem as you. How many weeks before it started to make a difference?

    1. It’s taking me a little while to get back into the routine, but it’s good to be back, thank you! 🙂 So the chill reached you?! 😉

      You have dry skin too? It’s certainly a very common ailment, and one that a lot of sufferers never get to find a solution to. Give the soup a go, it may well help you, my brother has some similar skin problems too, and he tried the soup and it solved his problems too. Also if you like parsnips add them into your diet as much as you can, they are very tasty cut in thin round slices and fried in a small amount of oil – very sweet, and they only take about ten minutes to cook, a lot quicker than roasting in the oven. I find the cashew nuts help as well, and for some reason both of those are far more effective when puréed, probably something to do with the body absorbing it quicker. I think that’s the theory behind juicing and fresh smoothies too.

      It took about two weeks before I noticed the effects, that was after eating it about four times a week, which is a lot of parsnip soup – but I liked it! I was a little baffled at first when my skin started to improve, couldn’t figure out why. So I started thinking ‘What have I changed in my diet?’ the parsnips were the only thing. I’m used to having negative reactions to food, not positive ones! 🙂

      I also found that citrus fruits have a very bad effect on my skin, and will actually undo all the positive effects that the parsnips have put right. The worst offenders are pineapples and tomatoes. 😦 So I don’t eat any citrus fruits at the moment, but I’m hoping that long term my body will be able to tolerate them again – eventually.

      I also avoid hot water and stay with using baby soaps with very simple or natural ingredients as they seem to be a lot kinder to my skin. It’s amazing how many things can have a negative effect on dry skin. If it does work for you, I’ll be very interested to know. You can be be my research!! 😉

  12. Welcome back. I am glad to hear you found the cure for your dry skin and the low sugar level in the natural way and tasty.

    The fire is really warm welcome indeed and the song is nice 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Definitely the tasty way – better than the pill way! 😀 Glad you enjoyed that fire, I thought it would make it a bit of fun, and upgrade from my usual type of image! 😉

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