When I was a kid my mother made huge batches of homemade soup. It was wonderful. I know it was wonderful because my Dad loved it. As for me, I never touched the stuff. She put all kinds of vegetables, fresh from the garden. She would can or freeze enough for the year. I couldn’t stand the thought of it. The corn, beef and beans were some of my favorite foods, but they were contaminated with tomatoes (I loved them raw but hated them cooked) and slimy okra.
Somewhere along life’s way I have learned to love fried okra. I don’t put it into my soup yet. I do put a healthy portion of diced tomatoes. I start with left over roast beef and whatever trimmings were cooked with it, usually potatoes, carrots, onions and mushrooms. I add extra potatoes and carrots, if needed, plus corn, and beans, etc., whatever suits my fancy. My special ingredient is dried hot peppers from my garden. Just add salt and black pepper to taste.
The beauty of homemade vegetable beef soup is the combination of tastes and textures. The various ingredients keep their individual flavors and feel to the palate. At the same time they offer up a combined flavor that is unique to each batch.
I will refrain from using soup as a metaphor for the church, but it’s there if you think about it.
February 9, 2010