The Gray Day



The almost-winter day started out foggy and hushed; so quiet, in fact, that everyone felt they needed to whisper all morning.


And then it rained.


That afternoon, the rain slowed to a drip … plop … drip … plop onto the piles of sodden leaves, but the weather remained stubbornly damp and gray. And Mama Chipmunk decided that she and her grandchildren needed something hot and comforting and deliciously slurpy for dinner.



Mama Chipmunk’s Rainy-day Soup


Start by chopping half an onion.

Sauté the onion in a little olive oil, in your soup pot, with a pinch of salt & ground pepper.

Add several handfuls of chopped rainbow chard, and cook until wilted.

Add a can of garbanzos, with some of the liquid from the can.

Add 1/2 teaspoon each of harissa powder & ground cumin, another pinch of salt, and a splash of vinegar; stir to combine.

Add 3-4 cups of broth (Mama Chipmunk uses vegetable broth; we use chicken broth).

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Bring back to a boil, add a serving-pack or two of somen noodles, and cook for 3 minutes.

Serve in large soup bowls, along with forks or chopsticks for the noodles.


OPTIONAL: Chop and lightly fry some Spanish chorizo; add to the pot when you add the broth.


(Early December 2023)


Story © Jennifer Singleton / Read+Purr
This is another vignette in my ongoing series of Tiny Garden Stories: peaceful 1-minute tales that let you read like a kid again. Click one of the first two buttons below to go to (or back to, if that’s where you fell down the rabbit hole) either the “Public Garden” archive page or (if you’re a Story Club member) to the members-only “Private Garden” page. Or click the third button to learn more about my Tiny Garden Stories. If you’re new to Tiny Garden Story-land and would like 10 days’ worth of stories from our first year, visit


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