Something you need to know before I continue, I'm a "craver". I must be craving a food before I want to cook it and I must get what I am craving or I will eat a little of everything in the kitchen. My family eats by the whims of my taste buds. My husband doesn't seem to mind and my kids haven't caught on yet. Bully to me.
A full day of "what am I really craving" later and you have me to my decision to make vegetable soup. First things first, I call my mom and ask her how to make it. As it turns out, her recipe is a basic vegetable soup recipe of cut up potatoes, boil them til tender, add cans diced tomatoes and whatever other vegetables you want (quantity determined by eyeing how much you want to make), salt and pepper. Voila! Vegetable soup!
The first obstacle presents itself quickly. I despise peeling and cutting potatoes. DESPISE! When I was a kid, that was always my job, thus I have come to hate it. I understand why it is sometimes used as punishment in the military. The potato juice makes my fingers feel dry and weird and makes me grumpy and I can never seem to get rid of that raw potato smell. Solution? HUBBY! I am never afraid to bat my eyelashes and humbly express how much better he will be at something if I really don't want to do it. He really is much better with a knife. I wander to the kitchen to find the bag of a day away from rotting potatoes and thus decide the entire half a bag must be peeled and cooked. Yeah, I am pretty bad at eyeing quantities. Half of a five pound bag of potatoes was probably a bit more than a family of two adults and two small children needed to make one pot of vegetable soup. I did realize this as I stood eyeing the potato to pot I'm suppose to add vegetables to size similarities. There was no way in Hades one can of diced tomatoes was going in that pot, let alone anything else. Time to bring out the serious cooking pot.
Which brings us to obstacle two. Where the heck did I put the serious cooking pot? It is too big to fit into the cupboards with the other cooking utensils and, thus, I have no clue where I put it so I would always know where it was. One would think there are only so many places a person would put a cooking pot for storage. One would be wrong in my case. I did finally locate it under the stash of juice in the bottom of the pantry. In my defense, I didn't notice it under the 20 or so bottles we store in there. Because, in case of emergency, we will want Juicy Juice.
Crisis averted, large pot is found. I transfer the potatoes and add tomatoes, Lima beans, green beans, corn, carrots and rigatoni noodles. A little salt and pepper to taste and I think I am well on my way to a masterpiece. I am, of course, a genius in the kitchen. Next obstacle presents itself, I must season everything! I don't really have a grasp on how most seasonings will effect food, I just like to sniff and sprinkle til I feel a little more like I should have my own daytime cooking show. I did, however, decide vegetable soup would have it's own mouthwatering flavor and I decided to leave the spice rack alone. It was confusing for a minute there, reaching only for salt and pepper, when I really wanted to browse the names I can't pronounce and add something to give it a "that's interesting" flavor. I did it though. I muddled through. At one point, I actually wanted to add sugar, just to see if that was what my Nana used to give her soup that super sweet flavor. Hubby talked me out of it and gave me the "That's nuts, you are kidding...right?" look so I quickly discarded that idea and stirred my magnificent creation.
The mention of hubby brings me to my final obstacle. "It needs meat." The hubby said it if not once then a dozen times. I finally threatened to put him in my soup. He took me serious. Especially when I started debating whether or not I should save some bones to put in a pot of pintos later in the week. He got quiet, which means I started feeling like I was being a horrible tyrant. I finally gave in, but he had to brown the meat. I refused. I took pictures for proof in case it destroyed my masterpiece and we had to eat McDonald's that night. Never hurts to have all bases covered in case he tried to use it as a cooking disaster antidote story in a social gathering and blame it all on me.
The not just vegetable anymore soup was still really good. Not as good as my moms. Something about hers being soup I didn't have to cook, makes it just all that much better tasting. But it was very good. And we had a lot of it. Like a lot a lot. We had two butter bowls (our recycled version of Tupperware), a jar, and two freezer bags full leftover after dinner that night. That worked. I'm all about days I don't have to cook. All about 'em.
* Diced Tomatoes
* Whatever Veggies you want (I used Lima beans, green beans, corn, & carrots.)
* Salt & Pepper
* Rigatoni Noodles
* Ground Beef