Making Soup

SoupAt one time, I hated to cook.

Not that I am a bad cook, but there are other things I’d rather be doing.

Like anything else.

I hated it so much that back when I was single, I only cooked on Mondays.

I would fill a pot with whatever was on hand and feast on it all week. When that ran out, I ate bar-food.

One week, I decided to make vegetable-beef soup.

I poured water into a pot, sliced an onion and checked the freezer for frozen vegetables. Wouldn’t you know it? No vegetables. No beef either.

Given that I only cooked once a week, you would think I would have everything on hand – but that wasn’t my style.

So I changed my plan. Why not make chicken noodle soup instead?

I checked the cupboard again. No chicken stock. No sign of noodles.

Before checking the refrigerator, I bet myself I didn’t have chicken either. I won that bet.

This was a problem. What kind of soup could I make without meat, vegetables or noodles? So I searched the shelves again.

This time, I even moved the stuff in front, so I could see what was in back. No peas. No beans. No nothing.

I had onions, but could I eat onion soup all week?

I answered that question by grabbing my keys and heading for the door – but just then my phone rang.

It was my buddy Stan. “You up for a burger and a beer”

“No,” I told him, “I am trying to eat healthier and save money by making soup.”

“Oh,” he said, terribly disappointed.

“You want to help me?”

“Naw…,” he began.

“I got beer,” I told him.

He changed his mind.

“Come on over,” I said, “but before you do, check your cupboard for anything that could go into soup.”

“Potato chips?”

“Anything else?”

“Milk,” he said, “but it’s expired.”

“Bring it,” I said.

“So what kind of soup are you making?” he asked, with just a hint of suspicion in his voice.

“I started making vegetable-beef,” I told him, “then I switched to chicken – but I don’t have either beef nor chicken so I was headed to the store.”

“Stay put,” he says, “I’ll pick up what we need.”

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he says, “I got just the thing.”

Ten minutes later, he walked through my door with a gunny sack slung over his shoulder. I didn’t think much of it until he set the bag down… and it started flopping across the linoleum toward the door.

“Stan?”

“Yeah.”

“Your sack is moving.”

Whatever was in there, did not want to be.

What followed was a conversation interspersed with action.

“I got.”

He said reaching into his bag.

“Two.”

Pulling out two hapless chickens.

“Fresh.”

Snapping their necks.

“Chickens.”

Thumping them down on my counter.

He then began to pluck.

A blizzard of chicken feathers filled the kitchen and swirled into the hall. It roiled toward the living room, reducing visibility there to no more than the length of the coffee table.

As I rushed off to close doors, he snatched up my big butcher knife and thumped away at the carcasses. I was glad to be out of the room for that.

By the time I returned, he had the chickens in my soup pot.

“It will take four hours to boil up those chickens,” I told him.

“Sounds about right,” he said.

“What are we going to do until then?” I asked.

“Get a burger and a beer.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

47 thoughts on “Making Soup”

  1. I have memories as a wee lad, perhaps 6 or 7, of living on a farm and seeing chickens beheaded for the table. Kind of funny seeing them run around for a few seconds like that. Farm kids have a strange sense of humor, I guess. City kids would probably be in therapy.

  2. Poor Stan needs some lessons in how to pluck a chicken, although those drifting feathers did make for a great visual.
    Having grown up with a chicken-plucking grandma, I’m more than happy to stop by the butcher shop for my bird. As for that rooster you mentioned, I once sold an early crower to a neighbor for ten bucks. He invited me for dinner a couple of days later.

    1. It will be a satisfying day indeed, when my neighbor invites me over for rooster dinner.

      Beside, he owes me something. The stray cat we adopted three years ago, Twiggy, spent the winter in his barn. He told me that she is sitting on the chicken’s eggs until they hatch. I have never heard of anything like that before, but it ought to be worth something. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. Is there any other way of making real chicken soup?
    And there’s the bonus of more feathers to plump up the cushions.
    Good on Stan for coming to your rescue once again, he’s a good mate😀👍

  4. First off – I still cook something big on one day and just feast off it all week. Second – I once tried to wing a pot of vegetable soup and it didn’t turn out well. Third – I can’t imagine what it was like to clean up those feathers! Four – STAN!!

  5. Someone else beat me to the stone soup quip. But that’s what came to mind. That, and pot luck. I don’t imagine the chickens felt all that lucky, however…

    1. I would have invited more people over, but everyone else I knew back then would only bring pizza and beer. Have you ever tried beer and pizza soup? Don’t .

  6. Ack! I think I would have barfed all over the kitchen, Greg. A whole other side to Stan I never saw coming. Beer and a grilled cheese sandwich sound good to me. 😀

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