Throw Some Shit in a Pot Soup

May 2, 2012

So after this lovely, middle-aged-style surgery of mine, the doctors and nurses gave me strict instructions not to bend over or do any heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks.  I laughed so hard I almost fell off the gurney, and that wasn’t even the Morphine talkin’.

Ahem. Medical professionals: I have three kids living at home, and do you know how much bending and lifting it takes to get them fed, laundered, bathed, groomed and entertained?

I do believe there’s some athletic activity involved.

Try to fill a dishwasher or a laundry machine or, even worse, a clothes dryer without bending over.  Try to lift a heavy skillet* out of a cabinet. Try to force shoes and socks on a recalcitrant child who does not fancy going to the dentist today.  Ass Painus Maximus, that’s what it is.

My main men, hubs and Awesome Stepkid R. have been incredibly good about taking on these tasks for me. I mean, jaw-droppingly good. I envisioned them being solicitous for  a while–a day or two, perhaps–and then, like the sneaky little reptile men they are, they’d slither back into their comfort zone where lunch magically arrives and the Clean Underwear Fairy makes a tri-weekly appearance.

But not my guys–they saw me through. Although I must say, those lucky lizards had wicked backup. Mama and Daddy arrived bi-weekly for laundry duty and  emergency grocery store runs. It took a village, people. No reptile behavior in sight, unless you count me, wailing in my bed with my painkillers and People magazines.  Not a meal was actually cooked, but we were fed, and fed well. Thank God for sandwiches and Stouffer’s. Laundry happened. The girls arrived and departed to school on time–and, bonus points!–did so without looking like circus performers or the Artful Dodger.

I am so dang lucky I can’t believe it.

I do harbor a healthy suspicion that they were this competent because if they weren’t, I’d convince myself that I needed to do things on my own steam, because hey, I wasn’t really that out of it. I imagine them cringing at the image of moi, high on painkillers, screeching into the Kindergarten parking lot,wrapped in blood-crusted gauze pads, clad in shower shoes and sunglasses, blasting the Pearl Jam and hollering, “Yo, Yo, Miss Linda! Any signs of my Rascal in there?”

I think that’d put the fear of God and Social Services into anybody.

Whatever the cause, I’m grateful for my guys and my beautiful parents.  When I finally was well enough to enter the kitchen again, though, it was kinda scary. Note to self: don’t make grocery lists on painkillers. We had 7 boxes of sugary cereal, Kraft macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, mandarin oranges, and a drawer of veggies I’d forgotten about that were hearty enough to survive my convalescence.

I came up with this soup. It tasted pretty good after a few weeks of takeout Chinese and leftover pizza.

It’s also good for you, thanks to that magic potato vs cream addition that on paper, shouldn’t work, but it does.

Magically Creamless Cream of Vegetable Soup

serves 6 or so

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

3 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped (3 cups)

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1 cup broccoli, chopped

2 cups cabbage, sliced

1 diced tomato

3 diced carrots

6-7 cups reduced-salt chicken broth

3 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 2-inch piece parmesan rind

Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; saute another minute. Add everything else into the stockpot, crank the heat until it boils, and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook, partly covered, for 45 minutes.

Remove thyme or rosemary sprigs and the parmesan rind. Blend in batches, or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning.  If desired, garnish with croutons (highly recommended), a dollop of Greek yogurt, and chopped parsley.

*God, I love  my Le Crueset skillet, but it’s a lethal weapon. If hubs ever really did something horrible, I could K.O. him in a minute with that thing.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Arnebya May 2, 2012 at 8:07 am

My cast iron skillets are definitely “keep fucking with me and I got something fo’ yo’ ass” worthy.

I’m so glad there were no slinking away lizards and that your parents were able to help out. I keep thinking if I had to have major surgery, or if, worse, there was a more immediate, unplanned need for help, I could not let anyone into the house. My husband would have to work alone. It’s that bad. Just let me die on the table if the alternative is my mama seeing the state of my bedroom. WHY ARE THERE DRAWERS ALL OVER YOUR FLOOR, ARNEBYA?

I love just throwing shit in a pot and seeing how it turns out. This one sounds like a keeper. Mmmmm celery.


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm


Confession: I had a cleaning service come in the day before surgery and during the weeks I was in bed. I can’t have Mama coming into NastyHouse, even if she is trying to help me out. She’d flip!

And yes, if a man is ever killed by a cast-iron skillet, I am a prime suspect.


Arnebya May 4, 2012 at 4:14 am

You have no idea how hard this made me smile.


Jennifer May 2, 2012 at 8:59 am

Yummy, yum, yum.

I love it when husbands help out.


elizabeth May 2, 2012 at 9:07 am

Throw some shit in a pot–hey, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. And a rind of Parmigiano makes anything taste instantly better.


Jenna May 2, 2012 at 9:20 am

Serious kudos to your menfolk for keeping things rolling, and for not backing down/slithering away after a couple days. You got some good ones there.
And the soup looks great–except where’s the part about eating the softened Parmesan rind with loud and obnoxious groans of pleasure? Other than that ommission, looks perfect.


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm


You eat the gooey rind? You rebel.


Contemporary Troubadour May 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

I’m laughing at the image of you blasting the Pearl Jam. Seriously, though, so glad the boys and your folks have been there for you. Family like that is priceless.

And those cast iron pots and pans *are* lethal! The Dutch oven I got at an outlet store two summers ago weighs 26 pounds, according to the woman who helped me box it for transport. Whether that’s accurate or not, it could definitely crack someone’s skull.


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm


It’s never bad to have an innocuous-looking lethal weapon in the house. :)


Lyndsey@TheTinySkillet May 2, 2012 at 11:16 am

So good to know you are on the mend and back into the kitchen. Also good to know you had such a great crew to relay on in giving you help!! :) When I first read the title of this dish I knew it was from you without even looking! :) This is the best kind of soup though! Clean out the fridge! :)


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm


Of course you knew it was from me! Madame Obnoxious is hard to miss. I’m on the mend, but slowly. This aging thing sucks. I expected to being table dances by now…


pamela May 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

I laughed so hard I sucked coffee up my nose. Yick.

SO glad you are on the mend – or at least well enough to laugh about how awful it was. Soup looks great. So does Hubs and Awesome Stepkid R. xoxo


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm


It’s still not great yet, but my painkiller consumption is much reduced, so I don’t see any shower shoes/Pearl Jam in my future. It’s more the fatigue–dangit, I am toast by 2pm. I just make dinner in the morning, try to write, get kids to school, and then am a worthless piece of roadkill the rest of the day. By 3 pm, I’m a possum on the highway.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes May 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Glad to hear you are on the mend!
And just out of curiosity and pure envy: what is it like to own a Le Creuset skillet? Is it good? I brt it is good…


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm


Santa needs to bring you one, honey. I know you deserve one. Plus, if someone messes with you, just smack ’em with that sucker. :)


Kelly May 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I love how creamy Yukon Golds are. (And I’m glad you’re all healed up!)


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm


I am still ScarHooch, but yes, things are getting better. Love you.


Amber May 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Oh Kitch, your ability to make me laugh even while you are in pain just kills me.


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Just you wait, young thing. Someday, you’ll giggle in the middle of a Seinfeld re-run and think…what the heck? Then you can call me and I will talk you off the ledge.


Katybeth May 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Your team sounds like Champions to me! Better yet you let them do it their way..which makes you a champion too or you were a victim of painkiller La La Land. Either way what works…works!


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm


Definitely the la-la land. I highly recommend it though, when you have to have humiliating surgery!


idiosyncratic eye May 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

These people are heros. But you might not want to let the men-folk know that, it always seems to go to their heads. ;) Yep, you can do some damage with a LeCreuset pan but the problem is lifting it in the first place. Sigh. Glad you’re feeling better because it sounds like you’ve had a right old rotten time. :)


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm


You hit the nail on the head. Never praise the men too much. If you do, suddenly they’ll forget how to make a sandwich.


SuziCate May 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

“Throw some shit in a pot soup” – we’ve had that same meal, different version, lots of time! And for some reason it’s always good…I wonder if it’s hunger or desperation talking to me…however, yours really does sound good!


TKW May 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm


It was probably both, but there was a little “I’m not that pathetic, suckers!” attitude coming from my side. Whatever the cause, we got soup.


Kate May 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Your title made me think of this air force thing my brother in law says – get your shit in a sock! (what does it mean? Who wants shit in a sock?) Now, a yummy soup, for that,
I’ll throw all that in a pot.

Seriously, I’m so glad you had exceptional back up while you’ve been healing. It always takes forever to be back to yourself.

I fear after massive baby #3 I’m headed that direction sooner rather then later. Which makes this allergy fest truly exciting. Next time I sneeze, will I need a handkerchief or a towel? Probably best to have both.

And some soup. Creamless please.


TKW May 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm


I do not know about shit in a sock. It sounds disturbing. My grandfather, who was a military man, used to complain about being served “shit on a shingle,” which was basically dried beef in cream sauce over toast. I almost can’t even type that, it’s so foul.


Tammy May 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Snarfing rhubarb pie out here while reading this. Even under (or possibly due to) serious meds, your writing is a source of great joy (and painful sneezes). Glad you’re back.


TKW May 3, 2012 at 9:41 am


The good meds end in a week, so start lowering your expectations! ;)


Cyn May 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm

You had me at the title… ;)


Naptimewriting May 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Mmmmm. Soup.
Men who do shit.

I’m in a tiny bit of extreme-pain envy here.

Can’t imagine the Chinese takeout is good at that altitude, though.

Hang tough. Cast iron will knock anyone on their ass. (My cast iron dutch oven is awesome for bread, but it *stays* in the oven. I pull out the rack, pour in the dough, shove it back in. That bad boy does not need to be lifted anywhere.)


TKW May 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm


Our Chinese takeout is pretty shitty, but the Vietnamese and Thai rock, so we make do. But the next time I’m in your city, you show me the good stuff!


Justine May 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I feel like a wimp here. You had surgery. I have a sore throat. So I really shouldn’t be whining (especially since it hurts my throat).

But yes, potatoes are these amazing little things aren’t they? I love creamless cream soups and this sounds like something that would go over really well in our house.

A pureed soup with a shitload of veggies? What’s not to love? Even my sore throat thanks you!


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Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon May 3, 2012 at 5:38 am

Glad you are on the mend lady. I have a funny Le Creuset skillet story….during a visit to the inlaws down in Florida my MIL asked if I would like her Le Creuset skillet. I said sure, thinking we could ship it to Maryland. Would you believe my husband lugged that gazillion pound thing on the plan in his carry on luggage? Better yet, that TSA didn’t blink an eye as it went through the security check.

Be well.


TKW May 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm


I bet that was a heavy-ass suitcase!


Maggie S. May 3, 2012 at 7:46 am

This looks good. I have never tried a soup of this kind before, but I have all the stuff. Well, except I have plain old Russet potatoes…


TKW May 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm


I think russets would work just fine! Go for it!


Tiffany May 4, 2012 at 7:14 am

I am so glad you had such good help. This actually sounds good…that just says how awesome you are…that high on painkillers you can come up with something this good!


Heather May 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Throw some shit in a pot soup?!?! Oh honey, you’re speaking my language! Glad you’re up and “running” again :)


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