7 Can Soup

Dump 7 cans into a pot and heat it up, how is that cooking?  I read the list of ingredients — can chili and Velveeta?  Really?  Those are definitely two items I don’t stock in my pantry.  I dismissed this recipe as soon as I saw it.

A few weeks ago I had gum graft surgery.  It was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had.  Let me just tell you how much it hurt — I believe it should be used as a method of torture.  Waterboarding has nothing on this.  Twenty-four hours of non-stop pain followed by three days where I looked like Richard Nixon and talked like Forest Gump’s friend, Bubba.  Complete torture.

Enter the 7 can soup recipe.  I’ve spent several weeks eating soft foods.  Day one was a milk shake.  Day two was mashed potatoes and chicken and noodles run through the blender.  I’ve had scrambled eggs, omelets, baked potatoes, and lots of ice cream.  A week after my surgery, I went to the doctor, and he took out a few stitches.  As I walked out the door, he said ‘soft foods for another week.’  Really?  I’m hungry.  I want something that has flavor and that I can sort of chew.

Afterward, I had to go to Wal-mart and pick up a prescription, so I purchased can chili and Velveeta, raided my cabinet for the rest of the ingredients, and I made this soup.  I have to admit, it was pretty good……I was surprised.

7 Can Soup

  • 1 can Meat-only Chili
  • 1 can 15-ounce Kidney Beans
  • 1 can (15 Ounce) Pinto Beans
  • 1 can (15 Oz. Size) Black Beans
  • 1 can 15-ounce Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can (15-ounce) Corn (I Used Fiesta Variety)
  • 1 can (10 Ounce) Rotel
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces, weight Velveeta, Cubed


Without draining the cans, empty the corn, chili, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, tomatoes and tomatoes with green chilies into a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to bring all the flavors together. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Dice the cheese and stir it into the soup until melted. Serve immediately.

7 can soup

This recipe came from The Pioneer Woman’s web site.


Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime Rice

I love soup.  It’s obvious that I make it often because Gray recently said to me as I placed yet another bowl of soup in front of him, “Mom, I really want to eat something that requires a fork.”  Point made.  He’s tired of soup.  But I ran across this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, and I thought I might be able to sneak it past him because of the rice.  My plan worked; he asked for it again the next night.
black bean soup with cilantro lime rice
Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime Rice
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cans seasoned black beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4-5 dashes green Tabasco sauce
  • Toppings: salsa, sour cream, cilantro
  • For the Cilantro-Lime Rice:
    • 1 cup long grain white rice
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • juice of 1/2 lime
    • 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, then saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly. Add chili powder and cumin then saute for 30 more seconds.
  2. Add drained beans, water, and chicken broth, bring soup to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and simmer for 15 minutes. Scoop 2 ladles of soup into a blender or food processor and blend until almost smooth.  Add blended soup back into the pot then add hot sauce and stir to combine.
  3. For the Cilantro-Lime Rice: While soup is simmering, bring water, oil, and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add rice, place a lid on top, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir to fluff then add lime juice and chopped cilantro.
  4. To serve, scoop cooked rice into bottom of bowls then top with hot soup. Top with sour cream, salsa, and cilantro.

So Matt has been traveling a lot lately.  That means he gets to eat out at some of my favorite restaurants in Greensboro.  He can sometimes be a bit ornery — texting me photos of outstanding meals — ones that I wish I were getting to eat.  So whenever I cook something new and especially yummy while he’s gone, I fire back a photo.  He was exceptionally jealous when he saw the photo of this dish and then heard how delicious it was.  It was so good that Gray and I ate every bit of it…….

Chicken Barley Soup

This is our friend Jeremy (with our son Gray).  Gray loves Jeremy — and so do Matt and I.

Gray and Jeremy

We met Jeremy, his wife Lici, and their kids roughly 4 years ago when they moved in next door.  I took over a loaf of “Barb Bread” the day they moved in to welcome them to the ‘neighborhood’.  I immediately knew they would be great neighbors — and they were.  We developed a friendship — and an arrangement.  Jeremy watered our garden and fed our dogs when we were gone, and I sent over food.  It made us all happy.

On a sad day a few months ago, they moved so that their kids could attend a different school.  We totally got it.  But an even sadder day came a few weeks ago when Jeremy called Matt to tell him that he has Stage 4 Colon Cancer.  We were literally loading the car with our suitcases two weeks ago for a trip to Alaska when the phone rang.  I could tell by Matt’s questions and tone that it was cancer but I was shocked when he told me who it was.  Just shocked.

To cope, I do what I do best — I cook.  When my mom was going through chemo a few years ago, the one thing that settled well and tasted good was Chicken Barley Soup.  This is her recipe.

Chicken Barley Soup

  • 1 package chicken breasts, cooked and either cut into pieces or shredded
  • 2 quarts of chicken stock (I add a bit more as barley tends to puff up and take over – sort of like rice)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry season
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage

Combine all the ingredients and simmer at least one hour.

Chicken Barley Soup

Yesterday Gray and I delivered a pot of Chicken Barley Soup and a loaf of “Bawb Bread” — as Jeremy and Lici’s son Mack calls it.  Jeremy looked great and is handling all of this in typical Jeremy fashion — with a positive attitude and a big, smiling face.  We pray for him daily, and I will ask you to do the same.  As far as the soup — if he likes it, I will deliver it by the truckload.  And if he doesn’t, I’ll still deliver “Bawb Bread”.


Three Bean Chili

Chili?  But it has been 85 degrees outside for the last week.  I know.  We eat soup year-round in our house.  We all like it, and I can make it in batches and freeze it.  Then when Matt is traveling, I just pull a container out of the freezer, and Gray and I have a one-bowl meal that covers all the food groups.  Well, except for the chocolate food group.

I tend to experiment with chili recipes.  I’ve already shared the White Chili recipe I often make.  I also have another Chicken Chili recipe that calls for ground chicken, white beans, corn, and swiss chard.  Then there’s always Turkey Black Bean Chili.  Matt insists that these concoctions are not chili.  Chili, he says, is make of ground beef (he’d really prefer venison) and kidney beans.  So this Three Bean and Beef Chili recipe from Ellie Krieger makes us all happy.  It is full of vegetables, has great flavor along with a bit of heat, and man meat.

Three Bean Chili with ground beef

Speaking of heat, I must tell on myself.  The first time I used chipotle chile in adobo, I royally screwed up.  This was years ago — well before Gray, and I was making a new soup recipe.  I thought the recipe said one can of chipotle chile in adobo.  It actually said one chile from the can.  Matt’s face turned bright red after one bite.  Needless to say, I had to just throw the whole pot out.  Word of caution — always read the recipe carefully before adding ingredients.  This recipe calls for one chile — only.

Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Matt has always been a fan of Seinfeld, and one of his favorite characters on the show is the Soup Nazi.  On occasion, I’ve made a soup so good that it gets a Soup Nazi nod.  This is one of those soups.

It requires an ‘exotic’ ingredient, by Columbia, Tennessee standards — an ounce of dried mushrooms.  As luck would have it, we live slightly closer to Spring Hill, and they have a nice Kroger, which is where I do the majority of my shopping.  They many times carry those sorts of more ‘exotic’ ingredients that the Kroger in Columbia doesn’t.  That was until recently.  On my last visit I went to get the dried mushrooms only to discover they no longer carry them.  Apparently I was the only customer purchasing said item.

Panic.  The dried mushrooms are the reason why this soup is so delicious.  They pack so much flavor, and there really isn’t a suitable substitute for them.  I went to another Kroger on the north side of Spring Hill, and they only had one, half ounce package of dried shiitake mushrooms left.  A half ounce is better than none, so I purchased them.  My next option was to drive up to Franklin, which I didn’t want to have to do with Gray in tow.  His patience for these sorts of things is quite low.

Score.  It was just as delicious with only half — and I saved myself $5.  I think I failed to mention that they are $5-7 a half ounce, depending on what kind you buy.  BUT don’t leave them out!

Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup from Everyday with Rachael Ray

  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms, any variety (a half ounce is just as delicious)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (I use 1 tablespoon dried when I don’t have fresh)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 6 ounce box long-grain and wild rice mix
  • 3/4 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast (I use 2)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup chicken broth for 10 minutes, then coarsely chop.  Reserve both the mushrooms and broth.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and sage and cook until crisp-tender, roughly 5 minutes. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and broth.  Cook roughly 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the remaining 5 cups broth, the rice mix, and sliced mushrooms and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and the chicken breasts are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred; return to the pot. Stir in the heavy cream; season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes.

creamy chicken wild rice mushroom soup



White Chili

I think church cookbooks are some of the best cookbooks out there.  A group of folks get together and submit their best recipes — that’s a guarantee for several winners.  My mom has given me a number of cookbooks over the years.  This recipe comes from the Mt. Vernon General Baptist Church 2001 cookbook, which is probably my favorite church cookbook.

I love this chili.  It’s super tasty and quick — perfect for a cold weather, weeknight dinner.  Funny thing, I’ve made it a number of times over the years and just noticed last night that the recipe was submitted by my parent’s neighbor, Millie Dike.  Bob and Millie Dike are super nice folks, and they have an awesome pool that Gray and I frequent every chance we get!

White Chili

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 48 ounces great northern beans
  • 8 ounces thick and chunky salsa
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 can chopped green chilies
  • 8 ounce block of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded or cubed

Cut the chicken into size bite pieces.  Cook in 1-2 tablespoons of oil until cooked through.  Add the beans, salsa, green chilies, and cumin.  Simmer for roughly 15 minutes.  Stir in the cheese and allow to melt.  At this point, keep the heat on low because the chili can scorch easily.

white chili

Of course no meal would be complete in my home without dessert.  These Snickers Blondies are simply sinful and worth every single calorie.

snickers blondies

Chicken Enchilada Soup and Twix Brownies

I’ve admitted before that I don’t use my slow cooker much.  It’s supposed to be an appliance that allows for a relatively low maintenance meal, but I find that many of the recipes that I’m drawn to require you to cook the meat before placing it along with the rest of the ingredients in the cooker.  I just don’t find that to be much of a help at all.  Most of our mornings are really rushed.  So when I found this recipe for Chicken Enchilada Soup that called for just throwing the chicken breasts in and shredding them later, I was all for it.  I bookmarked the recipe for a future date.

A few Saturdays ago I ran my 5th half marathon for 2014.  Yeah, my husband said the same thing.  I like to reward myself with — well food.  I’m always thinking about what I can cook or eat next.  When I got up at 4:45 to prepare for the race, I instantly started thinking about the day.  Run a half marathon, help Matt change out the hot water heater……then I stopped.  There was no telling what that second thing would bring, so dinner had to be pretty hands off.  I remembered the Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe and got the slow cooker out.  I placed the ingredients in — AND my chicken breasts were even frozen!

It’s not that I wasn’t excited about the soup.  I don’t cook anything that I don’t want to eat…..but if I’m being honest, I was way more excited about these Twix Brownies.  And as much as I’d like to rave about them, I really can’t.  They were just so so.  But the soup, it was the star of the show!  One note about the recipe.  The instructions call for cumin but it is not in the list of ingredients.  I added a generous 1/2 teaspoon of cumin when I put all the other ingredients in.  Good call.  I’d totally make this one again — the soup.  Not the brownies.

chicken enchilada soup