I never cooked a meal in my life, but I probably made 10,000 pots of coffee. So when I heard that line, “If you can make a pot of coffee, you can make a pot of soup,” it made cooking sound possible. I made my first soup in an agency kitchen where I spent a lot of time coming back to life after getting sober.
It took a long time, a real long time, for my brain to start working again. Not drinking was like a fulltime job, with daily meetings, support groups, and all kinds of activities to keep me busy and sober a day longer. I painted pictures of my inner feelings. I decorated glass jars to look like flower vases. I wrote haiku. One day the yoga teacher was out sick, so I went to a Suppers meeting in the same time slot, thinking I’d watch.
I’ll never forget my first pot of soup or how proud I was to feed my friends (after they stopped laughing). My ingredients were one pound of ground turkey, a bag of frozen vegetables, and some bouillon cubes. All I had to do was put a little oil in the pot, chop up the meat until it was browned, throw in the vegetables and bouillon cubes with some water and wait 20 minutes while it cooked.
The guys I stay with are no gourmets. They’ll eat what’s there and fight over the leftovers. So it’s no comment on my cooking skills that every pot of soup I make is gone in minutes. These recipes are about as easy to make as a pot of coffee – and a lot easier on the stomach.