I discovered the richness of soup late in life. It was a dish that appeared rarely in our home, usually accompanied by the sound of a can opener. Once in a while, my maternal grandmother made potato soup. If she added canned oysters and put some little octagonal crackers on the table, then it was oyster stew. For New Years, my father would make a noodle soup he called “chook,” but it didn’t resemble the Chinese original. The broth was made from the turkey carcass left from Christmas dinner. He added chopped celery and some of the raw peanuts he had bought for making peanut brittle. It was cooked in an enormous pot and would last for days. I think we also had navy beans cooked into soup with the Thanksgiving hambone.
When I was in high school, I experimented with cooking, using whatever was in my mom’s cabinets.
Then there were the ramen decades; five times a week in college, and as a married adult, just before the rent was due. At some point, I had a subscription to Bon Appetit, but couldn’t afford most of the ingredients. That’s when I started making vegetable soups with French names. I learned quickly not to start cooking when I was already hungry.
Really good soup takes a long time, what with all that chopping and simmering. It also helps to have multiple ingredients. There aren’t very many soup recipes that call for only two or three.
The same is true with writing, but I’m too hungry to pursue that metaphor now.

recipe forgotten
I pare scenes and characters
ideas simmer

Inspired by dVerse



  1. Love how you wove the story of your father into the Haibun … I love peanuts and often include them in dishes, could not help laughing at your ramen reference. Ah yes, memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being a vegetarian and a finicky eater, I make lots of vegetable soups, usually of my own devising and not following a recipe. My basic soup recipe is (different sorts of) vegetables, potato (amount dependent on how dense other vegetables are), vegetable water saved from steamer, 1 vegetable OXO and fresh herbs from garden. Works well.

    Liked by 1 person

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