Monday, October 26, 2009

Grateful for "Whatchagot" Soup!


"The unthankful heart...
discovers no mercies;
but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings"

~Henry Ward Beecher

My Heart has been full of Gratitude
this week as I read a "Letter to the Editor" that was in this month's National Geographic.
This is a little snippet from her letter...
Linda from Durham, North Carolina (whose husband had recently lost his job a few months prior to her writing this article) writes:
"This morning I was mired in self pity and grumbling about the state of our finances. Four out of five meals consist of beans and rice and I was sick of it. I headed upstairs to nurse the baby. As I settled down with my son in my arms, I turned to the picture on page 36 depicting a starving baby in Ethiopia. My eyes filled with tears of shame. I couldn't help but compare that withered little boy with the chubby infant on my lap. That boy is no less cherished than my child. I bet if his mother were plunked down in my life, she wouldn't know what to make of her good fortune. She wouldn't have time to complain. She'd be too busy cooking the beans and rice I disdain, planting vegetables in our yard and feeding her child" (end of quote)
This time of year it seems like there is an abundance of garden produce and zucchini gets added to about every meal and there are LOTS of soups and stews made with the abundance of garden veggies as well. I have heard quite a few people complain that they are sick of eating zucchini for every meal, or tired of eating soups for every meal, etc....

Every pot of soup we make up I feel SO grateful and feel rich as we are eating things that nourish our bodies. My children devour the bowls of soup they are served for dinner. I think of children in other countries and Haiti comes to mind as I read an article of moms taking a certain edible dirt and making it into cookies to feed to their children because they couldn't afford basic staple ingredients to feed their children and they were trying to ward off hunger pangs in their children's little tummy's...that is SO sad to me.
(click here to see the article)


************************

We are SO blessed have such an abundance of food in our lives and it is sometimes easy to take things for granted. So many people don't feel like they are eating a good meal unless it is lasagna, roast beef or pork chops with potatoes and gravy and all the fixings, etc...
If you think through history how many people would have LOVED to have had some onions and garlic and a variety of spices to throw in their soups to add flavor and a cornucopia of veggies...they would have felt rich to have such an array of things to put in a pot of soup.

For some odd reason we really do LOVE the thrift and health of a pot of soup.
(Tracy took this photo with his iPhone at Sam's Club)
On our Friday night date a few weeks ago we purchased a yummy Rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club for $4.97.

We enjoyed making sandwiches with it on the weekend, made a yummy Chicken Parmesan Pasta with part of it...

Then we took the ugly carcass and broke it apart and boiled it all afternoon and made up a pot of "Whatchagot" soup!!
I just love coming home on the one Saturday afternoon that I have to work each month and having the yummy smell of this soup filling up my kitchen as Tracy usually has this to eat when I get home!
Whatchagot Soup (my hubby's creation)
1 to 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 large or 2 small onions chopped

2 to 4 cloves of garlic minced

Saute
these 3 ingredients together for 5-10 minutes until they are tender


Then add in:

6 to 8 cups chicken broth (OR 8 cups water with 3 or 4 tsp. boullion)

Whatever chicken or meat you would like

1/2 cup pearl barley

3 carrots sliced

Red potatoes diced (however many you would like)

Whatever other veggies you would like to add in (
this is the reason it's called "Whatchagot soup"...you just put in what you have on hand at the moment). (We have added in broccoli, zucchini, fresh corn, peas, cabbage, etc... We have even added in leftover pasta from a previous meal...this is really an "anything goes" soup!)

Bring to a boil
and simmer for 20 minutes.

Then add in:

3 stalks celery chopped

Simmer for 10 more minutes

Then add in:

1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 Tbsp. dried chives

1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste
Boil for 5 minutes and then enjoy with a slice of homemade bread, breadsticks, or toast. (yummy with a little Cayenne pepper sprinkled on it after you dish it up).

If you
don't have much meat in your soup this is great served with a bowl of cottage cheese on the side, OR, it is yummy with cottage cheese put in your bowl of soup.

Enjoy!

SO grateful
to have a hubby who helps out in the kitchen and my kids just love and look forward to the yummy things he makes!
I'm sure lucky and life is just wonderful!

9 comments:

The Garden of Egan said...

Yummy soup and perfect for these cold Idaho days we're having.
Great thought provoking post.

Ann Marie said...

Great thoughts.. So true.
When I was pregnant with one of my kiddies.. I remember I was laying there in labor and in alot of pain. I was waiting for my epidural and not waiting very patiently...
I remember having a thought very similar to the one who wrote in. I remembered thinking.. Somewhere.. some woman in the world is somewhere about to give birth just like me.. and she doesn't have all of the "comforts" I have here. I cryed and cryed. It had a profound effect on me. I will always be grateful for everything! ~ Always!

That soup looks yummy! We have so much snow outside today,, and I'm thinking it's going to be a soup day!
Hope your day is great! ♥

Small House said...

What a great post!!! Love the name of the soup!!!

I love your lunch tips!!! I'm not as frugal as I'd like to be, but I'm seriously working on it!!
Have a great day.
Sandra

Sondra said...

I loved the stories you shared. We do have much to always be grateful for...sometimes we get caught up with the "I want more" mode, instead of "I'm grateful for my bounteous blessings" mode.

Happy birthday to you and Tracy late. I haven't been commenting much and doing other things that need to be done for winter. I've been reading your blog though..... I also read your blog on frugal living - about the tightwad gazette and frugal living for dummies. I just got these books and am loving them. I always am frugal - but these books put you in a whole different frame of mind. I think they would be great Christmas gifts to a few people on my list.

As always I love your soups. I have made so many lately and freeze half -- it's been wonderful to have a freezer full of great food to pull out and heat up. I'm loving it.

Thanks for your great reminder to be thankful for the blessing we enjoy in the USA - or just Idaho where we can plant a garden and enjoy our harvest.

Brenda said...

Thanks for making me stop and think about the many blessings we have.
Soup looks GREAT!

JENNIFRO said...

What a beautiful post. I always, always leave your blog wanting to cook something good and wanting to be better in the kitchen. That soup looks delicious!

JENNIFRO said...

Oh, and thank you so, so MUCH for your very kind email. I've read it several times and so appreciate your friendship. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in writing what you did. You are a dear.

Cherie said...

We are so very rich and spoiled compared to those in other countries.
I grew up with a single mom, not much money, and several times on church welfare and/or nothing in the cupboards. I remember one time my mom crying because we did not have any milk for breakfast and she didn't have money to buy any.
There are alot of people who have never felt what it is like to "not have". Once you have felt it in your life you are forever grateful for what you do have and for the simple things like a bowl of soup.
We also love soups, stews and chili's and find that with fruit, and bread it makes a rather fine meal!
I love the name of the soup Tracy came up with. Very fun! Looks good too.
My hubby is quite a cook also - I love it when men put those aprons on!!! :D

Cherie said...

We are so very rich and spoiled compared to those in other countries.
I grew up with a single mom, not much money, and several times on church welfare and/or nothing in the cupboards. I remember one time my mom crying because we did not have any milk for breakfast and she didn't have money to buy any.
There are alot of people who have never felt what it is like to "not have". Once you have felt it in your life you are forever grateful for what you do have and for the simple things like a bowl of soup.
We also love soups, stews and chili's and find that with fruit, and bread it makes a rather fine meal!
I love the name of the soup Tracy came up with. Very fun! Looks good too.
My hubby is quite a cook also - I love it when men put those aprons on!!! :D