Rustic Soups

Appears in

Honey from a Weed

By Patience Gray

Published 1986

We used to stay in a high-up village above Nice where only stony mule paths connected it to the dust road meandering round the ravines below. This inaccessibility made food relatively dear except for the things that the inhabitants, who were gardeners, grew.

As everyone went to work at 4 a.m. in summer, the main activity at other times of day was the game of boules carried on on any path which had been left uncobbled, where the village petered off onto the mountainside.

The mediaeval village lay like a curled snail shell at the foot of a great baou on a pyramid of fertile earth deposited by centuries of erosion of the lion-coloured mountain above, and overlooked an expanse which stretched from the Alpes Maritimes to the mountains of Esterel.