Whatever Soup

Below is a long recipe for a soup you will never make. It’s delicious, satisfying, low fat and perfect for lunch, but you will never taste it. The truth is that once this pot bottoms out, I won’t taste it again either.

Flung together from on-sale produce, thoughts of Mexico, and carb guilt, this soup was a custom designed never to be duplicated.

I torture you with this information because I want you to make a whatever soup of your own. Grab a big pot, pull out all your spices and go all mad scientist with wild hair, steam in your face and lids clanking to the floor.

Throw efficiency to the wind. I carefully dressed and roasted four on-the-bone chicken breasts just to shred them to bits with my bare hands.

Before you jump onto Mr. Toad’s wild ride, let me give you a couple of guidelines.

Begin with a broth or stock you really like. If that means using bouillon cubes, go right ahead.

Sweat your veggies before adding the hot broth. Letting them sizzle gently in olive oil will bring out the flavor.

Have a tasting cup or saucer ready. Don’t screw up a whole pot of soup with one bad spice selection. Instead put a couple of tablespoons in a small cup, season and sip. If your micro version works, you can safely upgrade.

Please come back and tell me how fantastic your soup was.

Whatever Pepper Chicken Soup with Beans

2 cups chicken (shredded)
8 cups broth or stock (heated)
1 medium onion (1 cup chopped)
2 celery stalks (chopped)
½ cup green pepper (chopped)
1 cup long Italian pepper (chopped)
¾ cup red pepper (chopped)
¾ cup carrot (chopped)
1 15oz can of corn (with juice)
1 can cannelloni beans (drained and rinsed)
2 bay leaves
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp all spice
½ tsp cayenne
½ cup milk

Add onions and celery to a pot with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Cook on low heat until translucent. (about 8 minutes).
Add peppers and carrots sprinkling with salt. Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Add corn and beans.
Pour hot broth over vegetables.
Add bay leaves, cinnamon, all spice, cayenne and salt to taste.
Simmer covered until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes)
Add chicken and milk

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  1. Whatever soup is genius! In fact, I made a pot of it this weekend! Whenever the veggies in my produce drawer start going south, Whatever Soup cannot be far behind!

  2. i remember riding Mr. Toad's wild ride
    at disney world. we flew through a chicken coop,
    and i didn't know what to do.

    now i know what to do!
    thanks for the soupy advise.

    "whatever" soup!!!

  3. Love it. I make whatever soups and whatever other meals all the time, and when they turn out to be particularly yummy, I lament the fact that I can't even remember what I threw in and will never taste that particular combination of goods again!

    PS- I got here via the link on my facebook news wall. So glad you posted. I want to check in more often.

  4. Soup, hands down, is one of my favorite things to make!

    Today for lunch I have a 2 point taco soup for lunch today! :D

  5. TKW, I totally agree. Ugly veggies are perfect for a whatever soup.

    J.P, Glad I can be of service. And glad someone got the Toad reference.

    Nisreen, so nice to hear from you. How is life in the UAE? Where are you exactly and what are you eating? Do tell...

    Biz319, I saw that you cooked up a storm this weekend. Looks like you have a whatever soup in your future with all those leftover ingredients.

  6. Hmmmm. I'd have never thought to add beans to the soup. This sounds hearty. I like the idea of how you don't waste unused veggies this way.

  7. Hi There traveling taste buds. I love the idea of your Whatever Soup! For many years I, myself have also done this. Used reduced priced veggies and cupboard spices with chicken stock, pureed the soup not the beans getting a different soup flavoured soup each time! Mom and I used to call it "Junkie" Soup because odds and ends were cooked in it. But turned out delicious all the time!

  8. I love soup and make up some creation weekly in an effort not to waste any veggies. I swear by the philosophy of starting any dish by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil to make anything edible. I always have vegetable bouillon and a large can of diced tomatoes on hand to make a base for any soup. I also think that beans are a great addition to almost any soup and should also be another staple in your cupboard. Devon you rock!!!

  9. Katie,
    As much as we both like to eat, we've only cooked together once or twice. Crazy. Let's come up with something kick-ass for New Year's.