I Like Soup

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

A rather eccentric fellow tells about making soup... and other things.

I like soup. Wait… no, I love soup. Whether it’s split pea with ham soup, chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, lentil soup, vegetable-beef soup, or a hundred other kinds of soup-- I love soup! With only limited cooking skill, a big pot and a few ingredients, one can put together a healthy, delicious meal that satisfies both stomach and soul.

At least once per week, I’ll take that bit of leftover roast, chicken, sausage, or whatever, and combine it with onions, tomatoes, and other such things to make a wonderful soup. Because I make it from whatever is on hand, it is unique and a little different each time, but always yummy.

“Isn’t it possible to make bad soup?” you may ask, and the answer is “Yes.” One must learn which ingredients are suitable for soup-making, as well as their compatibility with other flavors they might find themselves next to in the pot. Cabbage, for instance, goes well in soups with red meats, but not so well with fowl or seafood. Having made soup since a very early age, I acquired this knowledge the hard way--- through much trial and error. Darn it. I didn’t mean to let that slip, so now I’ll have to explain.

Yes, it’s true that I began making soup at the age of five, right after Mother ran off with that vacuum cleaner salesman. (Father, a rather restless sort, had previously slipped out the back and joined the circus; either that or the French Foreign Legion. I’m not sure which.) Please don’t think that Mother didn’t love me, for I'm sure she did. In fact, I was her moon and stars, even the air she breathed.  Only one rational explanation for her course of action exists, and this is it: Vacuum salesmen are very persuasive, and when one asks you to abandon your child and come with him, you must do it.

Never shall I forget that bright January day when last I saw my darling Mother. After a long but enjoyable ride in the salesman’s large, shiny Packard, we stopped near some lonely looking railroad tracks. Smiling ever so sweetly, Mother gave me one of her I-love-you looks and tossed an onion out the window.

“Oh, I dropped my onion! Would you go get that for me, Sugar?”

“Yes, Mama,” I replied and flew out the door after it. Running fast, I overtook the rolling, edible bulb just before it went underneath a speeding train. I looked back and saw the Packard driving away with poor Mother inside, looking down, too sad to wave goodbye. I know it hurt her terribly to leave me there like that, but she had to move on with her life.

Within moments of Mother’s departure, I looked around and realized how wonderfully she had provided for me. Not only did I have an onion, but there at my feet, stuck in the mud, was a fine, large pot; suitable for washing feet, brewing tea, pasteurizing milk, and yes… making soup! I picked it up and walked down the tracks only a mile or two before coming to the trestle that I recognized as my new home. Big and roomy underneath with a cool, clear stream running through; it was perfect. Not having had my breakfast, I roamed around the area searching for familiar foods like Fruit Loops or Sugar Smacks, but found none. Disappointed at first, it later came to me that, along with a more self-reliant lifestyle, Mother had steered me toward a completely new and healthier way of living! Sufficiently motivated by hunger, I went looking for anything edible, and that is when I discovered wild garlic, dandelions, and mushrooms growing all along the tracks. Mother was such a genius! Everything I’d ever need was right there, free for the gathering, like manna from heaven.

Unnerved at first by the trains that thundered overhead, I soon decided that they were really just mighty metal dragons whose purpose it was to protect me from boogey men and bad dreams. No zombie, werewolf, or Frankenstein monster could ever come near without getting flattened by the dragon, and not just in my dreams, either, but for real. I know this to be true because one time I saw a boogey man that had gotten chewed up and spit out by the dragon. (Boy, was it a bloody mess!)

I’m sorry. I was supposed to be telling you all about soup, but now I’ve gotten way off subject. I’ll try not to let it happen again, I promise.

In regards to good soup-making, one must learn pay very close attention to what one does. For instance, I sprinkled cinnamon instead of cumin into my chili bean soup one time and created a disastrous concoction, the very memory of which still gives me fits. The two spices look nearly identical, you see… oh, what’s the use-- I screwed up! Is it not enough that I’ve grieved horribly ever since?  If I cut off that wrong-spice-grabbing hand, would it buy me redemption?

Okay, listen to me. There is a lack of quality in this world. Too many people have no pride in their work. The automobile repairman, the lunchroom lady who serves green spam, the nurse with her stabby needles--how many of these have done poorly by you? How many have charged you full price for less than their best? Yes, I thought so. I already knew the answer. They’re villains, criminals not worthy of their next breath of air.

Even when I, a child, lived alone beneath that railroad trestle, I put every tiny speck of skill and pride into making that soup. Hobos have very discriminating palates, you know, and never did I see one be less than amazed by the fruit of my labor. They’d put a warm, luscious spoonful of my soup in their mouths, their eyes would roll back, and they’d beg for more. Even though it may have been made from only a little possum meat, water, and wild onions, it was culinary ecstasy. Love has flavor, too, you know, and my soup was full of it. All the sweet love given to me by Mother was there in abundance, and I poured it generously into the pot.

Well, that’s enough of that. I could go on telling you more, but the point I want to make is simply this--care about your cooking. When you do things correct and with passion, your efforts will be obvious, and in the case of food, tasted. Just now, I have made a marvelous vegetable-beef soup and served my darling wife a bowlful. Please excuse me while I call her to the table.

"Honey, lunch is ready!"

“What’d you make for me?”

“It’s soup, sweetheart. I put all of my love into it.”

“Slurrrrrp. Ugh, what are those little yucky things? Did you put mushrooms in the soup?’

“Uh, well… ”

“I don’t like mushrooms. It looks like there's something green in there, too.”

“But, but… ”

“I’m not very hungry. I ate that cup of yogurt for breakfast, you know.”

Fiend! Villain! Your stupidity is surpassed only by your total lack of functioning taste buds! Here! Wear the bowl on top of your empty head!

Ca-clunk!

I’m sorry, but I must go now.  It appears that my wife has spilled her soup.


Submitted: May 10, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Samuel Dickens. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Texasjane

Samuel, this is the second time I have read this wonderful story. I love it. You should pray for your wife's taste buds. Can you imagine her actually tasting something that was not made with love? I hope you do not mind. I have shared this on my Facebook page so that others might enjoy it too. Love having you here on Booksie with me. You always make me laugh.

Mon, May 10th, 2021 7:44pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Jane. She really is picky. Food was so scarce when I was growing up that virtually nothing was sneered at, not even boiled cabbage or beets. Being picky was not an option--you ate what was there or went without. I'm so glad you liked the story and hope your FB friends like it, too.

Tue, May 11th, 2021 5:09am

Serge Wlodarski

You can't expect everyone to appreciate your culinary genius. Funny story.

Mon, May 10th, 2021 9:12pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, and you are so correct!

Mon, May 10th, 2021 4:12pm

Criss Sole

Hehehe this was a delightful read. He certainly has a lot of passion. I'm not a big fan of soup.... but kinda feel like making some now.
Loved it! Very entertaining.

Wed, May 12th, 2021 8:35am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much. I'm delighted to know you enjoyed it.

Wed, May 12th, 2021 4:22am

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