| |

Making Soup When You’re 5 Foot 2

31-days-of-cooking-button_thumb Day 31

First of all, many apologies for those of you who’ve faithfully checked this blog for the past 31 days.  I let you down.  Although I gave it a try, I just couldn’t squeeze out any posts the past few days.

I was actually busier than a beaver cooking for the most delightful and appreciative group of ladies.  If everyone were as cheerful and thankful as those ladies, well…it would be absolutely delightful!:)


Now that I’ve done this cooking for a crowd thing for over a month, I’ve done all the basic meal plans at least once.  It’s starting to feel like more of a rhythm and routine, and I admit there is less fear in preparing a meal that I’ve done at least once before.

But, every now and then I need to try something new again.

Yesterday was one of those days.  The regularly scheduled lunch was impossible since one of the main ingredients was running low.  I needed to think of a Plan B quickly.

I searched the internet for inspiration, and discovered this soup.  The description of it sounded absolutely scrumptious, and we had all the ingredients on hand.  {If you want the recipe for a normal sized soup, please find it here.  It is even in a handy printable version, complete with a pretty picture!}

The only problem I had with the recipe is that it doesn’t tell how many it serves.  Which led me to ponder how many times I needed to multiply the recipe for the group of 45 that I was cooking for.

I decided 10 sounded like a good number. {I certainly didn’t want to run short, you know!!}

Well, that’s what I started out doing anyway.  Then I quickly realized I needed to improvise at every turn…  Here’s how it went down:

pumpkin chipolte soup with words

1.  Even before breakfast is served, start chopping vegetables.  {Holly was my sous chef yesterday, and did an amazing job slicing and dicing (and quickly, too!).}  Slice 10 jumbo carrots, dice 3 large onions, mince 30 garlic cloves (in the food processor), and  slice about 3 bunches of celery.

2.  Meanwhile,  mix up 20 liters of chicken broth.  {Thankfully, I realized I was mixing up beef broth by mistake in the knick of time.}

3.  Set out all the other needed ingredients: 1 large (gallon) can of pumpkin puree, barley (I ended up using 2.5 cups), a big bowl of diced baby potatoes with skin on, and 2 small cans of diced, green chilis (the recipe calls for diced chipolte chilis, but I couldn’t find them in the grocery store.).

4.  Pray.

5.  Haul out the ginormously heavy pot that looks like it’s the soup pot.  Grunt a bit as you lift it.

6.  Take a deep breath and turn on the propane flame.  It’s time to start cooking.

7.  As soon as you squirt in the first tablespoon of olive oil, you realize you can barely peek over the rim of that tall pot.

8.  Move your incredibly uncomfortable sensible shoes as fast as they can go while you retrieve your new best friend ~ the step stool.

9.  Position the step stool directly under the tall, heavy pot on the burner and stand on it.

10.  Marvel at what a different perspective a different height makes.

11.  Add in about 4 Tablespoons butter and throw in that huge heap of chopped vegetables (except not the potatoes yet).

12.  Saute and stir away. Salt generously.

13.  Pray that the vegetables won’t start burning on the bottom.

14.  Realize that burning on the bottom is inevitable if you don’t do something quick.

15.  Pour in some of that prepared chicken broth.

16.  Ahh…crisis averted.

17.  Once the carrots are tender, add in 10 liters of chicken broth.

18.  Realize there is no way on God’s green earth 10 more liters of chicken broth is going to fit in that pot.

19.  Add in the gallon of pumpkin, 2.5 cups barley, the bowl of diced potatoes (perhaps it was 30 baby potatoes??), and 2 cans of diced green chilis.

20.  Start to add in spices confidently, pretending you know what you’re doing.

21.  Salt. Nutmeg. 2 tsp. chili powder. pepper.

22.  Grab 1 or a dozen tasting spoons.

23.  Use the first of many to taste how the spices are.

24.  Too bland.

25.  Grab cayanne pepper.  Throw in 2 tsp.

26.  Taste again.  Swallow.  Gasp.

27. SPICY!!

28.  Grab the honey.

29.  Squirt some in.

30.  Taste again.

31.  Squirt some more in.

32.  Have everyone who sets foot in the kitchen take a taste test.

33.  Once the seasoning seems good, turn the flame down to “almost out” and let it sit for the next 3 hours.

34.  Serve with sour cream that the guests can garnish themselves.

35.  And when it’s time to take it to the serving table?

36.  Find a strong man.

37.  If you’re like me, that pot is so heavy when full that you can’t even budge it!

pumpkin soup

Although incredibly experimental, it miraculously turned out quite well.  The guests seemed to like it.

And for future reference, that size soup could probably feed about 80 people, if served with a sub sandwich bar.  If sour cream and cream aren’t added, it can be frozen and reheated again.

Similar Posts


Join my list for more ideas for you and your home…



  1. I can just imagine a cartoon drawing of you standing on tiptoe on a
    step stool, peering over the tallest pot imaginable, steam rising –
    concocting another delectable recipe.

    Congratulations on a great month of cooking. Thanks for taking us along for
    the ride!

  2. OK so I had to chuckle . . . I am 5 foot tall and often have stood in amazement at the incredible view from atop a stool as well! And I LOVED the mental imagine of you cooking from there! I am sure your back is killing you from the cooking – I know my back hurts from just cooking for my family – because of the “standard” height counters! Oh the dreams of a “my height” kitchen!!! Can you even imagine how wonderful it would be to cook when the counter top is not chest height:) We probably wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves;) SO glad to see you have gotten a little break recently – cleaning is a wonderful thing and brings harmony to the soul!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.