Oh baby has autumn hit us hard or what?! Transitions between the seasons are my absolute favourite in Paris. The beginning of Autumn is so special here before the seemingly endless grey winter sets in. Over here, candles are lit, there’s an apple crumble a week being devoured and we are embracing the season change hard.
To celebrate this cosy autumn feeling I thought I’d share with you my two absolute favourite autumn soups. W’e’ve been making them lately for Nourish Paris clients to some rave reviews and the absolute simplicity of them means that they’re loved by adults and kids alike!
Butternut Squash & Coral Lentil Soup
1 large butternut squash
1 medium potato
1/2 an onion
1 tbsp curry powder
1.5L chicken or veggie stock
2 tbsp coral lentils
100ml coconut milk
This is the absolute easiest soup to make as you just put all the ingredients except the coconut milk into a large casserole, cook for an hour to an hour and a half, add the coconut milk and blend! It has the most delicious creamy texture and gorgeous orange colour. Our boys like to slurp it with straws & we sometimes chuck some crunchy curry croutons on top.
Parsnip, White Bean and Sage Soup
3 large parsnips
1 medium potato
1.5L chicken or veggie stock
400g can of white beans
Five to ten sage leaves (depending on how strong you like it!)
Again, we like soups that are just combine, cook and blend and this one is no exception. Cook the parsnips and potatoes in the stock until soft, add the white beans and sage leaves and blend!
Autumn and winter tend to be the busy seasons in our home what with school, holidays, lots of work, gearing up for the Christmas season and just normal family life. I try to keep our meals as simple and easy as possible to make. The slow cooker comes out of the cupboard to its permanent winter place on the kitchen counter.
When people speak to families with young babies “How do they sleep?” is never far from being asked. Sleep is such a focus in the early years, mostly around not getting enough.
Right now we are on a sleep journey. I am not currently getting a lot of sleep; I’m actually writing this from my bed where I just enjoyed my Monday lie-in (until 8.30!). But yes, not a lot of sleep happening for me right now. I won’t lie, I’ve been struggling a little – I’m not someone who needs a massive amount of sleep but at the moment we’re waking probably around every forty five minutes to an hour through the night.
This is new territory for me. Arthur slept through the night from around six months old. He napped like a champion practically to the minute every single day. What an amazing parent I was! I did everything right, I had the perfect baby! Turns out, he’s just like his dad and could sleep through nuclear apocalypse. Fred is not that child. I’m trying to lean in to it, take every day as it comes and just do what’s necessary to get through. Right now this is what it looks like:
Co-sleeping when we need to. Fred goes into his bed in his and Arthur’s room at 19h. It’s taken WEEKS to get him to do that. Before he would just wake up the moment we put him down. Now he will sleep in there from around 19h to 22h-midnight. After that he generally won’t go back down in his own bed so we co-sleep until the morning (this is the part where he wakes up every hour.)
Going to bed early. I go to bed between 21-22h every night. It’s a sad, old lady thing to do but it basically ensures that I get SOME sleep.
Embracing this season. It won’t be like this forever – I’m choosing to believe that, to lean into it, to take care of myself and my family within this rather than bending it to my will. And there are a myriad of reasons why I won’t try to bend this sleep situation to my will, not yet anyway. I’m trusting that Fred’s doing what he needs to do for now and that he’ll sleep when he’s ready.
Honestly, as someone who loves rhythm, routine and predictability, it’s taking a lot for me to let go of control on this one. I’d love to wave a wand and have two boys sleeping happily in their beds in their bedroom. I’d love to have a clear step by step solution to apply to this but nothing is making itself apparent right now.
We’re doing ok. We’re powering through. We’re accepting help. We’re being kind to ourselves. And that’s all any of us can really do!
Well I hope you can excuse the radio silence here on Tout Simple for the last month. We are now the happy parents of two beautiful boys and have been navigating these new, exciting, chaotic waters!
Frederic Henry came fast and furious into this world on November 29th at midday, three weeks early and at a healthy 3.4kg. Despite the worries of every second time mother as to whether she could ever love anyone as much as her firstborn, of course the moment our eyes locked our fates were sealed. The heart has endless capacity for expansion. I should have known.
Arthur has taken to his new role as eldest trouble maker with total enthusiasm, smothering his little brother with kisses, asking me if Freddie’s had enough boobie, checking that he has his blanket. We’re very proud of him.
And now, back to snuggles, nappies and endless cluster-feeds!
A very very merry Christmas to all of you. Tout Simple will be back in force from January and I’m so excited to share the New Year and all it holds with you all.