Kitchen Sink Soup!

“Friendship is a sheltering tree …” (Samuel Coleridge)

My friend Myrna did something really sweet for me last week. She called to see if she could bring lunch to me at my house. How could I pass that up? Since I work from home, I eat all of my lunches here at our house.

I was really looking forward to our time. Sharing a bowl of soup, a glass of water, and a fun dessert (little baby tarts with fruit and chocolate, from Fred Meyer).

Since Myrna was the cook, she was generous enough to share with me her Kitchen Sink Soup. I’ve made similar soups over the years, but to tell you the truth – I always love someone else’s cooking. Are you the same way?

For those of you who aren’t very good about eye-balling, or throwing in the ingredients that you have available in your fridge, I thought I’d share how Myrna does it:

This is sort of a “kitchen sink” soup, in that I throw in just about anything, and there are no real measurements. It’s all by eye. Soon the weather will be cool and a pot of soup simmering is just the thing to brighten the house!!Start with a package of bulk Italian sausage, brown in skillet, drain off fat, then whirl in food processor (optional, we like a fine crumb, not big chunks of sausage.) Put meat in a pot and fill with stock, homemade or canned —I usually use beef, but it’s a forgiving recipe.

Then add chopped veggies to suit your family. I always crowd in veggies and have to add water, but it always works. I use tomatoes (fresh or canned), onion, garlic, zucchini or other summer squash, Italian green beans, kidney beans, carrots. Add in herbs (maybe basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary—basil is my mainstay). Simmer to cook vegetables, taste and add salt, pepper, Tabasco as needed.

When they are getting tender, add a box of cheese filled tortellini, and simmer until pasta is tender to your taste. At the last minute stir in a couple of hands full of baby or chopped spinach leaves (on occasion I’ve substituted shredded cabbage). Serve with fresh parmesan or Romano grated over the bowl.

Flavors mellow as the soup sits in the fridge a day or two, but the tortellini deteriorate and are not as pretty, but it still tastes delicious.

It was a great lunch hour. As we shared life, both as tired Moms, I told Myrna that I’m trying to not beg God for more time in a day any more. A while back, my friend Kay told me – Sandy, God has given us the perfect amount of time each day. It’s just up to us to organize and prioritize how to use it! That struck a cord in me, and made me more accountable.

Even with a busy schedule and so much going on in my life – I’m trying to be as disciplined as possible and plan ahead. And if that means lunch or coffee with a friend – because my friendships are important to me – then I will make time for that.

When you have the gift of good friends in your life – just like the quote above – the branches of friendship reach over into the lives of others providing relief, rest, encouragement, shelter and shade.

I’m glad Myrna thought of me last week, because it was just what I needed.

How about you – have you thought of taking lunch to a friend?

(My neighbor brought me these beautiful ripe figs from her fig tree yesterday. Do you have a favorite recipe for figs? Top photo: Fall mums on our front porch. Middle photo: Myrna’s yummy soup!)

21 comments on “Kitchen Sink Soup!”

  1. I grew up with figs growing in our yard, and still remember climbing up into the branches, picking them and eating them as quickly as possible! I had a friend recently bring lunch to me, while the house painters were here and it was the best afternoon! I may need to return the favor, or pass it on to sommeone else who would be blessed.

  2. I so appreciate it when someone cooks for me too! It is such a meaningful and wonderful way to connect with someone, and again, there is something about lunch with a girlfriend that just makes my heart soar. So blessed that you had that gift given to you.

  3. My sister just had Fig Strawberry Jam and said it was incredible… it is made with Strawberry Jello:,1823,153180-242196,00.html

  4. love those fridge soups, I make them alot in the winter, but then I love soup so much I would eat it all day!

    sandy I really enjoyed my visit here today (call me sad but I’ve been saving it up for a week or so, so that I have a good bit of reading to do rather than just one post!), I made a big morning coffee and some English crumpets and sat and read, and took in, all your advice.

    I was particularly interested in this ‘God has given us the perfect amount of time each day. It’s just up to us to organize and prioritize how to use it’ as just the weekend past and said to Mr BeachCottage, why can’t there be 8 days in a week, 3 in the weekend or more hours in the day?? then I came here and read that, too funny. I suppose I do need to try and plan my time better but I do think I do pretty well in that department but then again I spend too much time sitting around reading blogs with huge cups of coffee in hand hahaha!

    i love the idea of taking lunch to a friend, in a way kills two birds with one stone, the girlfriend can pretty up the house and you can get a nice meal together, easy plus no stress for anyone (as you know with me that is really important)

    we are having the neighbours in on sun for a bbq, I am already starting to panic a bit, I have constantly been repeating to myself it’s about the hospitality and thinking about all you’ve said on here…

    have a happy weekend


    p.s. thanks for your email about my link, it does link for me back to my blogspot blog which links to me, I can’t think of any other way to do it

  5. I love lunch with friends. Its one of my favorite things to do. I love my dear gal pals….they are so special to me….
    No fig recipe here…sorry.

  6. The soup sounds yummy. It is always a special treat when someone else does the cooking!! what a great friend. I guess that’s what it’s all about. Taking time out to do something special for a friend. I had a group of friends over for a potluck lunch last week, we had a great time!!

  7. I have that I am really good at (and love) organizing things, rooms, drawer, etc. But, I am horrible at organizing my time. During the day it’s come for naturally for me to sort of go with the flow and just do whatever I feel like doing at the moment, and I wish it were easier for me to be better at scheduling and time-management. I have to be very purposeful and work hard at it, and I’m still not that great at planning ahead. I try to make Sunday my day when I have people over to eat and have fellowship. Other than that our dinner time isn’t planned until right before I start cooking usually. (I still don’t know what I’m having for dinner tonight.) So, thanks for the reminder and encouragement to organize and prioritize my time better!

  8. Soup and the renewal of friendships after a summer activities, makes autumn a time of celebration! My grandmother always said soup is saved for months with an R in them. Pretty good rule of thumb!

  9. Taking lunch to a friend is a marvelous idea! I have been running out of things to do with myself since the kids returned to school and I am not working since we moved. This sounds perfect!

    Your pictures are great! I’ve not had fresh figs in years, but would love to see what recipes you find for them.
    Hope your week is going well,

  10. Sandy,

    Do you ever get down in the dumps? I love being at home, but I bore really easily and doing the same household chores everyday bores me..Ugh. I’m trying to get excited about it again, but it’s tough going. I don’t get outside much, that’s probably part of my problem.

    What do you do when you feel in the dumps?


  11. Yummy-sounding soup. I think taking lunch to a friend sounds fabulous.

    Have a great week!

  12. What a sweet friend! I agree that food you didn’t prepare yourself is extra special and somehow tastes extra great!

  13. No, I hadn’t thought of taking lunch to a friend. What a good idea! Thanks!

  14. Oh…forgot how I love to make figs.

    When soft and ripe, slice in quarters, from the top straight down (they look beautiful that way). Cut small pieces of soft gorgonzola cheese (about the size of a couple of peas). Then chop some walnuts pretty finely (smaller than gravel). Roll the pices of cheese in the diced walnut and put in the center of each fig. So delicious and elegant!

  15. I really enjoyed today’s post!

    I have a dear friend, Andrea, who was in our wedding and is a sheriff’s deputy. I’m a stay at home mom, so our schedules are very different. We make time together by having lunch together once a month. She pops over on her lunch break. Half the time I cook a nice meal or heat up leftovers from dinner. The other half of the time she picks up some tacos and sodas for us. We have time to catch up and she has time to kick her boots off and relax. I really love doing this.

    I like that you included the part in your post about “more time in a day”. I’ve found myself wishing that many times. I think your friend’s advice on that is true. I’m sure it’ll be an ongoing goal…being accountable for using time wisely and planning.

  16. I love eating what others cook for me. We tend to do more entertaining than we are entertained for, so it’s a rare treat. I love soups! They are comforting and a great solution for soccer nights when I have to have something ready as soon as we walk in the door after practice.

  17. i would much rather cook for someone else than have someone cook for me. i’m picky like that. :) however, this soup sounds amazing and if someone made it for me, i certainly wouldn’t turn it away.

  18. No fig recipes here, but I do love Fig Newtons.

    I think you are so right about prioritizing the time God gives us. I always feel like I need more time, but I know God is perfect and so is His time table. Great post!

  19. Just beautiful! I love girlfriend lunches…or dinners..or coffeee..oh I just love girlfrieds!!!


  20. It is so wonderful to be thought of by a friend…and even better – you were able to ‘fit her in’ when she called. Sometimes we get so busy and don’t have time when someone gives us an impromptu call.

    I like the advice from Kay – I think that I need to listen to her too. Planning and organization are not my best skill.

    I’ve never seen figs before – not like that. Only the ones in the packages that I can find in the baking aisle of the grocery store.

  21. The mums are beautiful, the soup looks amazing and I have never done anything with figs!

    Once I’m in my house I hope to have friends over more often. I like the idea of bringing lunch to a friend.

    It seems like so many of my peers are so busy all the time that it’s nearly impossible to connect, and unfortunately I’ve taken a back seat on trying. I don’t ever want to be so busy that I can’t make time for a friend.

    Have a great week. How did your soccer games go last week/weekend? Ours were rough…but that’s okay. They had great attitudes.

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