So there I was in Montmartre, sitting in this fabulous three-storey artist's "studio" sipping green tea with said artist and two musicians - one of whom is my new landlord. Ok, we weren't discussing existentialism exactly (more the latest Porsche 911, which one of them was about to take delivery of!) and there wasn't a ruffled floral skirt in sight, but it was pretty close to my romantic notion of living in Paris.
Yes, I've found a little studio - small but perfectly formed - in a lovely old building on a quiet cobbled street in Montmartre. This was my last appointment yesterday, having viewed beforehand: a squat above a Chinese restaurant in the 15th, a window-less cat's coffin in the 4th and an apartment with a fireman's pole in the living-room in the 16th! So when the Montmartre musician asked if I was interested in his studio, I was like: Helloooo? Take this cheque as a deposit toot sweet! And then we went off and had tea with his friends.
I'm back home now, exhausted after all that zipping around (and relieved to have found somewhere to stay), about to tuck into a bowl of celery soup. Bonne nuit.
6 sticks of celery, chopped fairly thinly (reserve some leaves to garnish)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 oz/50 g butter
1½ pints/850 ml vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion, celery and potato and stir to coat everything with butter. Put a lid on the pan and allow the vegetables to sweat for about 10 minutes on a low heat. Add the stock and some seasoning, cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Remove from the heat and blend the soup in a liquidiser or food processor then pass through a sieve to remove any fibrous bits. Return to the pan to reheat and taste to check the seasoning. Garnish with the celery leaves.