>Rocket soup and a swallowtail

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All through the winter we have some kind of warming soup for lunch almost every day, but this one seems more springlike. Most soups are easy to make, but this one is especially quick and easy. I cut, wash and roughly chop a panful of rocket (it shrinks a lot when its cooked). You can use the quite thick stems that grow when the rocket is bolting and going to flower, as ours is at the moment, as well as the leaves. Add a chopped sweet onion, a little water and some salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Liquidise, reheat and mix in a couple of tablespoons of crème fraiche. Once youve added the crème fraiche its best not to let it boil again as it may curdle. It has a beautiful dark green colour and a good flavour. Serve with a swirl of extra crème fraiche.

Swallowtail butterfly

Yet another sign of spring yesterday when this butterfly was attracted to a bright patch of aubretia on our wall. Whenever we approached it flew off, but it always came back to the purple flowers until Lo Jardinièr managed to get this photo of it.

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