Soup Forever

soup forever

The camp cook relaxing with Eli (2005).

We were camping. It was the summer of 2005. We hadn’t yet adopted our boys. I don’t remember any men during the week. Who  WAS there? Michelle just had knee surgery and was on crutches and down for the count most of the time. Grandma Doris, but was struggling with COPD and was using a power scooter. Mom was in charge of Chelle’s three kids.

I was in charge of all the cooking and beggers can’t be choosers. So I got to decide what was on the menu for the week. I chose soup. (I have a philosophy about soup that you can check out here.)   So I got to decide what was on the menu for the week! Plus, everyone loves my soup and knows that I am the best soup cooker out there…you see, I have a secret ingredient that I add to my chicken soup that few people know about…

Other considerations were shopping costs and preserving any leftovers. Since we were trying to keep costs to a minimum…and leftovers to a minimum…I experimented with using the previous day’s remainder as the next day’s soup starter.

Here is how it went:

Day 1-chicken soup with celery, carrots, and onion with noodles on the side.

Day 2-add mashed/chunked potatoes and milk/cream

Day 3-add more chicken and a bag of frozen mixed veggies.

Day 4-add cheese, broth, and more onions, carrots, celery 

Day 5-add a large can of diced tomatoes and bring on the Italian spices

Day 6-add 2 lbs of hamburger, a can of V8, and beans

soup forever

Cooking with my little helpers (Brad and Nate).

We would take the previous day’s leftovers and transform them into the next by highlighting one or two different ingredients. Each day the soup was complimented with hunks of buttered Italian bread, saltine crackers, or toast with butter and garlic salt. Buttered noodles were a favorite add-on/add-in.

I was ruthlessly made fun of for my creativity but everyone know that I could actually live on soup. It is the most basic and easier cooking item when you look at it as a meal with just 5 parts.


1–liquid (water, broth, V8 juice, milk or cream)

2-seasonings (salt, pepper, Italian spices, chili seasoning…)

3-protein (chicken, beef, hamburger)

4-veggies (onion, celery, carrot, bag of frozen mixed veggies)

5-carbs (potatoes, noodles, rice)

Now, this continued for two full weeks. Michelle loved every meal because she didn’t have to make anything or ever clean. Mom is pretty flexible and I don’t remember her complaining about the offerings.

My experimentation with “soup” continues today. On Sundays especially, I will rummage around the refrigerator checking to see what leftovers might go together to make a yummy soup. So if you ever come over for dinner and we are having soup, it might take me a bit to come up with a name when you say, “Lisa, this is awesome soup. What is it called?”

Chicken Stoup

It’s a nice, thick soup–a cross between soup and stew:

1 whole chicken (a rotissery chicken is supper yummy)

6 cups of water

a couple cloves of garlic

salt, pepper 

spices–paprika, thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, bay leaf and parsley

3 T butter

3 carrots

2 stalks of celery

1 large onion

1 12 oz bag NoYolks Extra-Broad Egg White Noodles


sour cream

sharp cheddar cheese grated


1. Put the chicken in a large pot with water and about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Slowly bring to a near boil. Once it is almost boiling, turn the heat down, cover, and simmer for at least 4 hours. 

2. Slice up the carrots, celery, and onion and saute using the butter with a little salt and pepper. Add the garlic to any or all of the veggies as you saute. Set aside.

3. Remove the chicken and let it cool. (I love making this in the winter because I just put it in a glass bowl and set it out in my screened porch to quickly cool.)

4. Bring the leftover broth to a boil and put in the egg noodles. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Do not drain.

5. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of each of the spices.

6. Remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and skin. Tear the meat into bite-sized pieces.

7. Put the meat and veggies in the broth with the noodles.

8. (Here’s the secret ingredient.)  Squeeze some juice from 1/2 a lemon or a dash of vinegar into the soup!

9. It is best on the 2nd day, but it’s perfectly yummy right away too.

10. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, toss on some sharp cheddar cheese, and some fresh scallions, and your set.

Who is Lisa


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