SouperPower Rescources

Helpful hints to make your soup cooking and giving easier.

“Coordinating and synchronizing with other people is a powerful way to lift your physical and psychological well–being.” Daniel Pink

Tools and Gadgets

These are the tools and gadgets that help simplify my cooking life. They also make it easier for young children to help out in the kitchen.

I love my manual food processor. It makes it safe for young kids to help with the chopping and it’s easy to clean. It works wonders on onions, celery and other vegetables I want diced into small pieces.
I use this one

I use my immersion blender so often my kids gave it a name! This makes it easy to blend soups right in the pot… no messy transfers to a blender for a perfectly pureed soup. 

If you’re going to making a lot of soup, I recommend an 8 quart stock pot. 

Cooking with Kids

When I was trying to balance my life with a new baby and a two year old (oh so many years ago) a co-worker shared one of her secrets….

Stop thinking of the grocery store as an errand and instead think of it as an outing.

This simple semantics switch helped me in innumerable ways: grocery shopping became a game in which the kids “found” secret items, chose “their” vegetable and named colors or counted out pieces of fruit or cans of beans.

It also helped me to understand that kids love doing anything together, as long as you promote it as fun and not a chore.

Which brings us to cooking a pot of soup together and delivering half of it to a friend, neighbor, teacher or other community member. Cooking together is worthwhile way to connect and feel good and, in my experience, much more gratifying than sitting next to each other playing on your device.

Carving out time to be together doing something tangible and worthwhile.

Actively role model what empathy and giving looks like for our children.

Creating a way to naturally talk about why we do nice things for others, especially when we include our children in both the preparation of the soup and the decision about whom to deliver this week’s soup to.

Teaching our children a valuable skill while spending time together.

Immediately experience the positive impact we can have on our world…  I’ve yet to deliver soup and not have someone’s face light up. 

Make generosity a habit.

Make a chore into something fun that can benefit others.

But kids, even toddlers, love to cook, taste and be part of the process.

They love doing something (really, most anything) with you.

Measuring, pouring, stirring.

Use a hand cranked food processor to make chopping safe and easy.

Clean up is especially fun if it involves a step stool and a sink filled with soapy water.

They love to decorate the container or the bag you use to deliver the soup in with stickers or drawing.

A surprising benefit is that picky eaters become more adventurous when they’ve had a hand in the preparation.

Use tools and gadgets that are age appropriate. 

Include everyone in the decision on who gets the soup.

Play music, sing, dance, tell jokes and stories, laugh… a lot!

If you make it an enjoyable habit when your kids are young, they’ll more easily participate as teenagers. 

Resources for sharing soup

When sharing soup I've found a couple things to be very helpful... and environmentally friendly! I've found some helpful re when sharing soup, including containers, downloadable lists and enclosure cards!

 I order the 24 oz. compostable soup containers + lids from Ecoproducts at https://www.ecoproducts.com  If I’m delivering soup for 2-3 people I use one container and 2 for 4-5 people.  

Brown or white handled paper bags that kids love to color and decorate are perfect add ons, especially if you have really little ones who want to help!

Family (Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin… you get the idea!) 

Friends

Neighbor  

Teacher or Principal or Teacher’s Aid

Coach 

Professor 

Music Teacher

Tutor

Librarian

Colleague 

Barista

Personal Trainer 

Yoga Teacher 

Vet or Vet Tech

Groomer 

Someone who made you laugh 

Garbage Collector 

Street Sweeper 

Mechanic 

Plumber 

Hairstylist 

Manicurist 

Troop Leader 

Doctor or nurse 

Dentist 

Orthodontist 

Accountant 

Mailman 

Dog Walker

Book Keeper 

You get the idea…. just have fun! 

SouperPower Pantry Staples

Ingredients, Elixirs and Potions to have on hand

I use all of the below to make soup making easy and to add a boost of flavor to my soups.

Bouillon Cubes – I use Edward and Sons Not-Beef and Not-Chick’n 

Concentrated Stock – I use Better Than Bouillon

Vegetable, mushroom or chicken stock – I use Pacific 

Nutritional Yeast 

Tamari 

Miso Paste – Different types of miso can be used interchangeably in recipes. In general, the darker the color, the stronger the taste. You can use a white or yellow miso to add a subtle flavor boost to most any soup. 

Umami Flavor Booster

This is a recipe for a magic potion. I developed it over the years add that elusive, deep flavor to my vegetarian cooking.

¼ cup mild cooking oil

3 medium shallots, chopped  

8 large cloves of garlic, chopped

¼ cup cashew butter

¼ cup tahini

¼ cup red miso paste 

¼ cup tamari

¼ cup nutritional yeast

½ cup dried mushrooms, pulverized in a blender

1 Tablespoon sugar

Sautés the shallots and garlic in oil over medium heat, just until soft and beginning to slightly brown. 

Cool and scrape the mixture into a food processor and combine with the remaining ingredients. 

Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. 

Add to soups, stews, rice and noodle dishes for added depth of flavor. 

For the longest time, it never occurred to me to make my own bouillon. When it finally did, I had fun experimenting. Here’s the recipe I finally settled on. 

½ cup nutritional yeast

½ cup dried mushrooms (I buy a dried mushroom blend but you can use all shiitake with equally good results) 

¼ cup dried peas

¼ cup dried carrots

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons parsley

1 teaspoon dill

1 teaspoon celery salt

½ teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon sugar

2 Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoon pepper

Pulverize the mushrooms, dried peas and dried carrots in a food processor, food mill or coffee grinder. Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a glass jar. Use 1 Tablespoon per 1 cup of water, or to taste. 

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