Soup for a Year


Week 2 Begins

Filed under: David — David @ 9:35 PM

For all those who said–reflexively–“You won’t even make it a week!”

. . .


(That is all.)




Nah, that isn’t all. I’ve got more to say tonight.

I go back and forth on the difficulty of it all. I try to say to myself that eating soup for lunch and for dinner isn’t all that difficult. And those are the times of day when it doesn’t seem hard. But I will admit that it is some kind of psychological battle to eat soup for breakfast–and that is one of the times when I want to eat something different from soup for a meal. A nice bowl of cereal and a crunchy piece of toast. A hot bowl of brown sugar & cinnamon oatmeal with a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter to add a little twinge of extra richness. And every weekend when Lynda and the kids eat pancakes or waffles . . . well, those are difficult times.

I’ve considered skipping breakfast, but that is definitely unhealthy–and I don’t need any more criticism of that. I know that Mike and Brie often drink fruit smoothies, which is a good idea but I haven’t worked out the logistics of fitting that into my routine. (And, yeah, some of you will probably point out that there are smoothie-like drinks readily available in the drinks case of the office cafeteria. I forget what my point is.)

Anyway, breakfast is a hurdle. And the times in-between meals is also difficult. But I am trying to readjust my understanding of food and my relationship to it. What I mean is that I find myself feeling hunger, but not debilitating hunger. And that isn’t such a bad thing. So many people in the world live with hunger all the time. Can’t I let myself feel a faint echo of that? It’s not like I won’t be able to satisfy that hunger any time I want, so it’s not truly hunger . . . just a reminder to not forget to eat. And when people tell me that it’s not healthy, I am ready to disagree.

As I said from the beginning, soup is a healthy meal. It’s often featuring vegetables and most soups have a pretty rational balance of meat to other ingredients. What I’m cutting out of my pre-S365 diet most dramatically are empty calories such as cookies, chocolate, salty & crunchy items. Those things should not be missed in a healthy eating lifestyle. And I’m quite aware that when this S365 experiment is done, all of those things will rapidly make themselves available to me again. But perhaps I might go about eating them in a more intelligent way?

So, yeah . . . I lost four pounds last week. But I am sure that was weight I could definitely stand to lose. And I am slowly teaching myself to have a smarter relationship with my food.

So, I’m satisfied. Bring it on week 2!


Public thanks must be given to S365 fan Irma, who offered to bring in some delicious chicken & meatball soup that she had leftover from the weekend. Mike, Brie, and I all had some at lunch today and it was such a nicely put together soup that it makes me ashamed of the Mulligatawny that I made over the weekend. (I will say, however, that while I wasn’t in love with the first bowl of my Mulligatawny on Sunday night, the bowl of it that I ate for dinner tonight was much more pleasing . . . probably because I had a better understanding of what to expect.)

But, again, Irma’s soup was outstanding. And I am happy that people are thinking of our challenge and supporting us in these ways. Now I’ve just got to think of a better, more persuasive way to turn that support into something more than bowls of soup for us and more in the way of help for so many who definitely NEED help in their lives. I have asked this before, but I’ll keep throwing it out there. If you can think of a way to turn this effort into a force for good, please let me know in a blog comment or by writing on the Soup for a Year Facebook page.

Thanks everyone! And good night.



Today’s lunch

Filed under: David,Lunch — David @ 9:03 PM

I know I’ve posted out of sequence today but truthfully, the only reason I took this picture of my split pea & ham soup was because it looked like a lunch a Packer fan might love–because of the orange juice.

(Sorry for the run-on sentence.)

My mulligatawny soup recipe

Filed under: David,Recipes,video — David @ 4:52 PM

I’m sure I’ve misspelled the name of this soup about a hundred times. So I’m glad to be done with it.

I’ll probably eat it for dinner.


Soup for a Year: Dinner 5: Brie Eats Cream of Spinach and Mushroom Soup: It’s Complicated

Filed under: Brie,Dinner,soup,video — Brieanna @ 9:04 PM

Right. Today wasn’t too bad. I had a peach mango V8 for breakfast which was quite good. There were plans for my friend Lyndsey to make me pizza soup for dinner tonight, but she ended up going out of town, and I was left to fend for myself. But I am an island when I want to be, and sometimes when I don’t want to be, like tonight. Yet I persevered and went to Whole Foods after I got out of work early. As I wandered around the Dublin Whole Foods, I was quite pleased to see that there were no samples of cheese in the cheese area. I love cheese, any kind, anywhere, any time, and the presence of no cheese samples was pleasing to me as I would not have been able to partake in the delicious samples. I took this as a sign that the Whole Foods workers want me to win this challenge, and also maybe God. Yes, I’m sure God wants me to win. And so I will bear this burden of eating only soup, and I will emerge victorious, much like the Crusaders, sort of, in the First Crusade. History! With this in mind, I began to eat my soupy dinner.

As usual, I was optimistic about this soup. I like to give anything a chance, try everything once, keep an open mind, that sort of thing. I find my optimism particularly helpful in the soup challenge. I mean, I was labeled “the manic” at lunch today, with Mike being “the depressed” and David being “the unaffected.” However, this cream of spinach and mushroom soup was a bit of a let down.

The thing about this soup is that it had everything, in theory, to be a great soup. Cream! Spinach! Mushrooms! Being soup! Yet, when all was said and done and eaten, I did not really like it. It had a strange flavor to it that I could not place. Now, I am familiar with surprising flavors popping up in things I buy from Whole Foods. Usually it is a bit strange at first, but then I get used to it and like it. Once my friends and I bought Whole Foods Ranch dressing to go with our Two for Tuesday Whole Foods pizza. The Ranch had a rosemary flavor that is not present in the perennial favorite Hidden Valley Ranch, but as I continued to dip my pizza in it, I began to enjoy the taste. This did not happen with this soup. Maybe because I couldn’t isolate the strange flavor it had, but either way, I have had better soup. I still have probably three bowls left of it in the refrigerator, and it says I should enjoy it by December 12, so I’m sure I will finish it. I just won’t be as happy about eating it as I will be about the lobster bisque I love or a good French onion.

Tomorrow: Another Whole Foods soup, Brandied Cream of Mushroom. Fingers crossed this one will be better!

Lynda is quickly becoming my secret weapon

Filed under: David,Dinner,soup — David @ 6:17 PM

After work today, I swung by the Apple store in Easton to pick up my new laptop battery. (If you’re interested in this non-soup part of my life feel free to investigate over at Why Won’t You Grow?!)

As I drove to Easton in the gathering twilight, I started talking myself into a milkshake–you know, something filling to eat while I drove. (And, apparently . . . totally legal!) I thought, “Well, when I stood up at work a little while ago, I did get slightly dizzy for a second. Maybe something that is a filling drink would be a good idea.”

But as I drove, I started talking myself out of it again. I felt fine and the traffic discouraged me from slowing my progress further by swinging into either a McDonalds or a UDF or the very inconvenient Steak & Shake. So, I avoided temptation again.

After I finished my transaction at the Apple store (Thanks, Geniuses . . . if the problem is finally fixed, that is.) I started home and began to think about what I’d have for dinner. Friday night is generally pizza night in our house, which means we heat up a frozen pizza (most often) or order a corporate pie (less often). Then the girls watch some sort of movie or series of Disney Channel shows and Lynda and I relax for a while and switch off from a week of work. Soup, normally, has no place in this end-of-week routine.

But the other nice things about pizza night is that Lynda and I don’t have to worry about cooking. Even if I wasn’t eating pizza, I still could easily heat up the leftover turkey soup from earlier this week or try to finish off the Brunswick stew that I’ve been going through all week. And since I was going to be a bit late getting home, I’d just slip into the night as the kids were finishing pizza and making their movie selection. I’d heat and eat my soup and everything would be (relatively) normal.

When I got home, what was waiting for me on the table, still hot?


pizza soup

Do you know what this is? It’s PIZZA Soup, as interpreted by the amazing Lynda. She created it by:

1. taking two pieces of pizza and removing all of the toppings and cheese

2. cooking the toppings in a pot with a can of diced tomatoes that were already flavored with oregano, basil, and garlic

3. dashing the top of the finished soup with parmesan cheese and

4. garnishing the soup with cut up pieces of the original pizza crust that baked  in the oven to a crouton-like consistency.

It was a pretty good interpretation of pizza in soup form that did not resort to blenderizing anything. I certainly don’t think anyone can accuse me of cheating here because Lynda went to the trouble of creating a soup base with the (pizza appropriate) flavored tomatoes.

The best thing about it all was that I had no idea she was planning on it. It was  a complete and utter surprise and I really think it is cool how Lynda has been supporting me in this entire affair. You’re the best Lynda!

Brunswick breakfast

Filed under: Breakfast,David — David @ 7:47 AM

I mentioned the other day that I was enjoying my sister-in-law’s Brunswick Stew recipe.

Here it is, in bowl form, serving as this morning’s breakfast.

How do I eat a bowl full of potatoes, corn, limas, BBQ chicken, and beef (plus other stuff) this early in the morning?

I just imagine I’ve gotta rope cattle on a long drive from Abeliene to Montana. (And to be honest, getting three girls ready for breakfast and school is the closest I’ll ever want to get to that.)

Good morning to you all!


Soup For a Year: It’s Complicated

Filed under: Brie,soup — Brieanna @ 11:58 PM

Soooooo no video tonight because I was otherwise engaged. Doing what, you ask? Certainly not not eating soup? Well, no. I was eating soup, but I was also going to a concert and once again being shushed. Because this is not only a blog about soup, but, I choose to believe, also about me, I will use this blog to talk about what happened to me tonight. I had tickets to the Ok Go show at the Basement. Tickets were only $12! What? That’s insane! I know.

Anyway, I ate some more lobster bisque from Spinelli’s before my friend came over to drink wine and watch terrible reality shows. Then we went to the concert, where I WAS SHUSHED AGAIN!  (I was also shushed by a 12-year-old at the Pete Yorn concert at the Newport last Sunday.) What is up with randoms shushing me at concerts! Listen, I know that I am loud, but things are supposed to be loud at a concert. Also, I didn’t even realized we were being shushed; my friend told me after it happened. Apparently, some stupid girl shushed us while we were talking during a story the lead singer was telling. She sassily did it with her huge boyfriend standing behind her. What this girl didn’t realize is that I know about having a huge boyfriend. Please! My last was famously 6’5″ 270 lbs. So I know that your huge boyfriend can’t fight your fights when your fights are with GIRLS! And if he does, fine. Hit me, huge boyfriend. I’m tough, and I’d like to go to Europe next year, and it would be even better if I got the money from a settlement from you after you hit me for talking during a concert when your bitchy girlfriend thought I shouldn’t be.

I promise a video of me eating some soup tomorrow, and if no one else is here with me, I will eat it to another Rocky song. (Eat it, lol. Hey, we voted. This is not a family blog!)

Final thought: If I cannot deprive myself food other than soup for an extended period of time, what does that say about my sense of committment to other things I might want to commit to, such as a man or a child? Until tomorrow, take care of yourselves, and each other.

Bonus: If anyone can tell me where that final sentence is from WITHOUT looking it up (Honor System!), I will give you a soupy prize. Hint: the prize is soup. Fact: maybe I am drunk right now. Well, drunkish…

Avoiding the snacks are HARD!!

Filed under: David,Dinner,Lunch — David @ 8:54 PM

clam chowder

(Today’s lunch was clam chowder. And it was very good.)

Not snacking is one of the harder things about this whole S365 business. I look back now on how dismissively easy I thought this might be and internally scoff at myself. How could I think it was easy? How can I restrict myself to only soup and not potato chips, not crackers and cheese, not ice cream, cake, and cookies? Why was I such a fool?

Well, those who know me know that being foolish is something that I excel at. So, why should this be any different? But I really felt foolish (and hungry) when I came home this afternoon with the kids and was immediately assaulted with the smell of something rich and beefy cooking in the crockpot. I knew that Lynda had bought a roast over the weekend, so I assumed that a succulent pot roast was nearing its cook time.

I was simultaneously happy and sad all at once. I was happy that I didn’t have to figure out what to make for dinner–something that always looms large for the person who leaves work early to pick up the kids from school. But with that significant task out of the way, I could play with the kids, straighten up, check email, etc. And then . . . I was sad because I knew that pot roast was not an approved food according to the Soup Council. Soup . . . of course. Chili and stew had been approved (hurray!), but pot roast was definitely not acceptable. Immediately I tried to tell myself that I could just heat up some of my leftover turkey soup or have another serving of the Brunswick Stew that I was previously thawed. But I knew nothing would be as good as that pot roast.

Courage, I told myself! It’s only the fourth day! Don’t be so sad so soon. And I distracted myself by doing other stuff. But soon the kids wanted an afternoon snack and they asked for their enormous bag of Halloween candy. CANDY! I can’t eat candy either. No chocolate, no Reeses cups, no Baby Ruths, no Mr. Goodbars, no Snickers Fun Size. Nothing.


I’ll have chocolate milk later, I said to myself. It’s okay. I’ll find something else to do while they eat.

Soon, playing with the kids occupied my time and I realized that I’d forgotten about it all. And then Lynda called to tell me to put some rolls in the oven to go along with the beef stew. She was on her way home . . . wait! What?

Beef stew?! That isn’t a roast?

Sure enough, when I opened the lid to the crock pot, I found a beef stew with onions and carrots bubbling away.

Hurray! Lynda saves the day AGAIN! And it was happily eaten by everyone . . . including me . . . and it was so very, very good.

Now, how to stop thinking about all that Halloween candy later tonight?

“Something Quite Special”

Filed under: Controversy,Rachel,Recipes — racheleallen @ 8:02 PM

Whilst paging through my Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook I came across a list of proper garnishes for soups. (And stop laughing- I could keep house with the best of them if I wanted to… I just choose not to!) I’m going to include the introduction to the garnish list because it’s quaint and charming. And hopefully I won’t get busted for some sort of copyright infringement.

“A well-chosen garnish such as a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley or chives, a slice of lemon or a few paper-thin slices of cucumber can turn an otherwise ordinary soup into something quite special. For a more decorative effect, swirl a tablespoon of cream lightly into each bowl to marbleize the surface. Grated cheese should be served separately so that each person can help himself.”

And now, here’s the list of garnishes over which we will argue:

-lemon slices

-chopped hard-cooked egg



-sliced cauliflowerets

-whipped or sour cream

-carrot and celery ticks

-grated cheese

-bacon bits

-sliced almonds

I’m not totally sure how I feel about all of the above, but some would at least address my fears over the participants’ vitamin deficiencies.


I don’t have it in me tonight

Filed under: David — David @ 9:50 PM

to post very much.

(You thought I was giving up on soup? NEVER!)

I’m just pretty tired. Life and other responsibilities intruded on my little funhouse of mirrors, so I had other things to do. No video to provide tonight. But I’ll say that I ate my sister-in-law’s famous Waycross, GA approved Brunswick Stew and it was chock full of deliciousness.

Now I am having a tall glass of chocolately milk. I’ll see if Glee got preeempted due to World Series baseball and then perhaps I’ll collapse for a period of unconsciousness.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have the energy and excitement to tackle my work and my fun with equal measure.

Until then . . .

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