After the first surgery, a friend dropped off some veggie soup for me. It was delicious and nourished body and soul. I emailed her for the recipe, and she answered, "No recipe, this is how Grandma made soup from her garden." So I proceeded to try to imitate Grandma's healing soup and the recipe is below (I emailed Jacque once or twice more to gather the details).
About that same time, Bill, my neighbor next door who has claimed me as his current cook, hung a bag on my door with a recipe in it from the newspaper for Cheese Pecan Biscuits. He said, no hurry, wait until you recover. Well, I got bored enough to want to play in the kitchen, so I made soup and biscuits. It took a couple of days to gather ingredients, mix and chill, slice and bake and also to allow the soup to blend flavors. This worked okay; I was in no hurry and strength had to be doled out in small increments. I took soup and biscuits to Bill and he was a happy boy. The biscuit version I used was without the leavening because he wanted it to be like shortbread. I agree; they are wonderful, sort of like thick crackers.
When Glenda took me to the hospital for the second surgery, I pulled biscuits and soup from the freezer and sent them home with her for dinner. She and Frank enjoyed and she told me I could make the biscuits any time I wanted to and share with them, and could she have the recipe for the soup? I also gave her a few slices of organic hot dogs from our local Whole Foods store to make the soup a bit more hearty since Frank is still a hard working man who needs his meat as well as his veggies.
Last night, a friend came over with a salad, a hot wax tub, and a foot bath along with all sorts of creams and scrubs and lotions. So, after salad, I got pampered all evening. Body and soul got fed! Another friend came over with a can of cashews which delighted me no end! She had called and said, "What are you craving?" I told her and in minutes she and the cashews appeared at my door.
It has been good for me to open up my heart and receive this sort of loving ministry. I had not felt worthy of such care in the past, but God has done so much healing in my heart as I have gone through the messes of life, that now I am able to receive the tenderness of others toward me. I don't always have to be the strong one, taking care of all my own needs. God is caring for me through others. When I knew I was facing surgery, I filled my freezer with soup and other dinner things, most of which I have not used since I am being so pampered! (Bill brought me lasanga for lunch today from one of his favorite Italian restaurants south of Tulsa.) This is more healing from the residuals of having husbands who did not nurture me, but either neglected or abused both heart and body. God is so good and His love so tender.
I hope you enjoy the soup. Remember, this is a basic soup recipe and you need to adjust amounts and veggies according to your taste. And I dare you to not like the biscuits!
Jacque's Grandma's Soup
In a large 4 qt. Dutch oven, melt 1 stick of pure butter (or use half butter, half olive oil). Saute a large onion and 2 large cloves of garlic. Chop up a couple of large unpeeled baking potatoes and add to the onion mixture. Add 1/2 bag each of frozen corn, frozen okra, and frozen lima beans and stir to mix. Chop up several large tomatoes (Jacque said she uses 6) and stir in. Add water, salt and pepper and simmer until veggies are tender. Even yummier the next day after flavors blend.
Old South Pecan-Cheese Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 cup extra sharp grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup butter
1 cup chopped, lightly toasted pecans
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp baking powder (optional)
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and baking powder (if using; adding baking powder will make the biscuits a little spongy instead of crispy).
2. In a separate bowl, combine the butter, cheeses and pecans and mix with your hands, if necessary, to blend well.
3. Add the flour mixture, mixing with your hands again, if necessary. You can add a bit more flour if the mixture is too sticky (this depends on the type/brand of flour you are using).
4. Divide the dough into 4 parts and shape into logs about 1" in diameter. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
5. Slice the logs into 1/4" rounds using a very thin knife. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes depending on how thick you actually cut them. You want them browned, but only slightly; over browning will give the cheese a burnt taste. These can be frozen for several weeks.
So, on a cold winter's night, invite some friends over for soup and biscuits and the warm fuzzies of friendship.