Friday, October 28, 2011

SOUPer Simple Comfort Food for Writers

In the 2009 film Nim's Island, Jody Foster plays an agoraphobic writer of middle-grade adventure novels whose diet consists of Progresso soup. She has it delivered to her door. I suppose as canned soups go, Progresso is as good as any, but nothing beats a bowl of steaming homemade soup on a crisp autumn day.

Since my writer's den can be on the airish side, I'm often huddled over my keyboard cocooned in a brown crocheted shawl with a mug of hot tea to my right and an earthenware bowl of soup at my left elbow.

To help you gear up for winter writing, I'm posting soup recipes that call for no more than four ingredients (excluding salt and pepper). Delicious doesn't have to be complex.

Amish Beef Rivvel Soup
1-1/2 to 2 pounds of beef (use chuck, round, or stew beef); cook in water until tender (I use a pressure cooker). If using a solid cut of meat, dice it up in bite-size pieces or pull it.

3 large eggs, beaten well. Add salt and pepper as you would if you were going to fry them. Stir in as much unbleached flour as possible. (I begin with a fork, but switch to two knives to cut in more flour.) Continue adding flour and cutting it in until most of the dough is the consistency of navy beans.

Bring the beef broth to a boil and, while stirring constantly, drizzle the rivvel into the boiling broth by the handful. If you don't need all the rivvel, seal the remainder in a zipper bag and store in the freezer, to go in another soup later on. Once you've added as much rivvel as you need, turn the heat down to low. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the rivvel is done, as you would any other pasta. This soup goes well with crusty bread and a salad.

Beef Barley Soup
Cook 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of  beef, cooked as for Beef Rivvel Soup above.

Rinse 1/2 pound pearl barley well. Add to boiling beef broth. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until barley is tender, about 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. This soup also goes well with crusty bread and a salad.

Kickin' Tomato Soup
1 can tomato soup
1 can Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chilies (I prefer mild, but suit yourself.)

Mix together in a heavy saucepan and heat. Serve topped with toasted home-made seasoned croutons and a generous dollop of sour cream. 

Okay. Okay. The next recipe uses two times four ingredients, but if you make it, I think you'll agree it's worth the effort. Enjoy!

Fried Potato, Bacon, Corn Chowder
8 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces
2 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sour cream
1-1/4 cups milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can whole-kernel corn, drained
1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Cook bacon over medium heat for five minutes in a Dutch oven. Add potatoes and onions. Cook until potatoes are tender (15 to 20 minutes). Add remaining ingredients. Cook until heated through (10 to 12 minutes). Amazing!

I've shared some of my favorite soup recipes. Would you  reciprocate with one of yours? Click "Comments." Also, if you try one of mine, let me know how you like it.

Write on!
Because of Christ,


  1. Oh, my, Sharon, that corn chowder was DELISH! Finally made it this evening (bought everything a week ago, but used the sour cream for baked potatoes and had to replace), and the 2 of us ate well over half of the soup! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I'm so glad you liked it! For me, it really fits the description of "comfort food." Thanks for commenting.

    Because of Christ,