A manly soup

My wife says, “Manly, aye, but I like it too.” (you have to be a certain age to get that reference.)

It started out as a bland bean soup, but after I added carrots and potatoes and sausage (Impossible Sausage, so still vegan) and onions and garlic and a lot of mysterious spices, it became hearty enough to keep a man (and a woman) warm and strong through even the most savage blizzard Minnesota might throw at us.


  1. nomdeplume says

    Down below a horror movie called The Menu, and here bean soup is on the menu, with something called an “Impossible Sausage”…

  2. wzrd1 says

    An ancient marital joke here was, “needs more barley”.
    Early on our marriage, my wife made some soup and wanting stew, I suggested adding barley, then some more barley… Got my stew!
    And an in joke that lasted over 40 years.

  3. cgilder says

    It reminds me of a soup my Minnesota grandma used to make called Kansas City Steak soup. Ground beef, vegetables, and a mess of spices. It smelled SO GOOD and tasted even better.

  4. cgilder says

    We’re also hunkered down here in Western Montana. The snow mostly stayed away in the Missoula valley (only a couple inches) but the low tonight is somewhere around -25F, and the windchill is something even stupider. The high tomorrow is -10ish. I made soda bread this afternoon, but my kids all balk at soup (WHY?) so I’ll probably come up with some sort of potato-based vegan hotdish for dinner.

  5. hemidactylus says

    I’ve been adding rice to stuff with beans or peas lately, when I’m not eating expensive premade salads from a huge grocery store. The split pea has ham chunks, but the added habanero sauce and garlic stuffed (not “suffered” spell check!) olives make it so awesome! A coworker brought blueberries to work and I added that to oatmeal with vanilla soy milk this morning. Life is good.

    Beer is a vegetable! My rationalization explained…Vox.

  6. charley says

    How about, “♫ How do you handle a hungry man? The Maaaanhandlers! ♫”. That’s a reference to soup, not soap.

  7. Tethys says

    Looks very tasty PZ. I’ve also been eating very hearty, carb heavy things to fuel all the shoveling. Red beans and rice is also delicious with the addition of some sausage.

    Irish Stew is made with beer, and beer is made of grain. Thus beer can be bread, but bread is not a vegetable.
    I got my spawn to eat soup by making a loaf of nice crusty bread and then letting them rip off pieces for dunking into the soup. Potato soup with bacon (sort of a veggie chowder) and Creamy Wild Rice were hits, but plain chicken noodle or tomato were not.

  8. JoeBuddha says

    My mom had something like this. She called it, “Throwed-in” veggie soup. Basically, all the leftover veggies and such at the end of the week, as well as fresh bread. Which she baked pretty much every day. Yum!

  9. John Morales says

    Better than gruel, I suppose.

    I remember when bacon references were a thing on this blog, in the early days.

    (IIRC, Rev BigDumbChimp was particularly keen)

    And I remember the turning point: https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/12/10/im-cured-no-more-meat/

    Me, I made a damn good lamb chop stew in the slow cooker.
    880g of meat, 4 largish red potatoes, 3 large carrots, one stick of celery, a few string beans (from the garden), 2 onions, two capsicums (bell peppers for you USAnians), 5 teeth of garlic, about a spoonful of olive oil, two tablespoons of tomato paste, a lot of fresh ground black pepper, a good bit of dried thyme and oregano (from the garden), a good dash of proper paprika, about a teaspoon of salt, a bit of ground cumin, two cups of chicken stock (all we had, but made from the carcass of a chicken at home). A small gurgle of cheap red wine.

    Onions and garlic fried in the olive oil, because I’ve learned that putting raw onion and garlic into the stews is just not as good. Potatoes and carrots chunky.
    Chops (forequarter) trimmed of external fat but whole and bone-in. Around 6 hours’ worth of cooking, but the meat melts in the mouth and falls off the bone, yet the veggies retain some texture.

    I bet my stew is tastier and more hearty than the better-than-gruel soup.

    But I do respect the ethical considerations at hand, shame I’m just not that good a person. One of my sisters is also an ethical vegetarian.

  10. christoph says

    I’ve heard of a Swedish stew called “piti pata,” I’m told the literal translation is “Put it in the pot.”

  11. hemidactylus says

    @9 John Morales
    Damn your concoction sounds tasty and I’m not much into mutton!

    But being a USian two capsicums means something more hardcore to me than you. Don’t fear the Carolina reaper or something like that.

  12. says

    Soup that is more vegetable than broth is my jam, too. I like to use celery root/celeriac because you get a lot of it for not a lot of money and it holds a firm texture better than celery stalks, I find. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with dried wakame seaweed and that’s good, too.

  13. hemidactylus says

    @13- Strewth
    My Canadian born grandma used to send me dulse through the mail. Later my Korean gf turned me on to other seaweed options! Amazing stuff whether weird bagged kelp, seaweed salad, or nori wrapped rice which I prefer!

  14. ANB says

    Looks like what I made this last weekend. Start with beans (various), then rice or barley, then all stew appropriate vegetables I can add, and always with onions and garlic. It probably cost me much less than $1.00 per serving (and one serving is good for me). And I prefer it to meat based meals. Soups are great, cheap, and healthy, easy to make, and something you can have leftovers for days. What’s not to like!

  15. microraptor says

    I’m not terribly fond of fake sausage or hamburger patties. They tend to be so heavily processed that they’re no healthier than eating the real thing (and that’s saying something). But I do love a hearty vegetable stew.

  16. John Morales says

    Chigau, yes. Got an el-cheapo: “Contempo Slow Cooker 5.5L”, heavy ceramic.

    Pointless cooking small amounts in it — but great for making stock.

    Also, I have solar panels so the electricity is free (well, after the sunk cost of installing them, but they’ve already paid for themselves).

  17. mordred says

    Hmm, that reminds me, I could make some lentil-pumpkin stew tomorrow. With whatever veggies are still in the fridge, in addition to the pumpkin.

    There’s also the red bean, tomato, chili and sauerkraut stew I haven’t done in a while.

    Oh, I should by some white cabbage and red beet tomorrow and make some borscht!

  18. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales
    My slow-cooker is about 2litres.
    I live alone and have that wee box on top of the fridge for freezing.
    880 grams of anything is beyond my comprehension.

  19. weylguy says

    You know, that plant-based Impossible sausage and burger stuff is darned good, and while I’m not a vegan I’ve replaced all my usual meat products with it. The Impossible Chicken is not bad, but it’s got a long way to go before it will ever be a decent chicken substitute.

  20. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t understand fake-meat. None of it is even close to the texture/taste of real meat.
    Just eat vegetables.

  21. John Morales says

    Wow. Just took a look. Never tried it, myself, but it doesn’t sound too appealing.


    Impossible Sausage Made From Plants contains many of the same ingredients you recognize from other Impossible™ products. Soy protein concentrate to pack it with protein; sunflower oil and coconut oil to give it a fatty mouthfeel; soy leghemoglobin to give it a craveable, meaty taste… you know the drill.
    The Savory flavor has the savory taste of fresh sausage, fully seasoned with a herbaceous and peppery bite. The ingredients are listed below:

    Ingredients: Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, 2% Or Less Of: Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Salt, Natural Flavors, Cultured Dextrose, Spices, Food Starch Modified, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Soy Leghemoglobin, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Soy Protein Isolate

    Vitamins and Minerals: Zinc Gluconate, Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12

  22. Tethys says

    The ingredients for that sausage are mainly water, poison, and two kinds of oil? Sounds rather awful, and not actually an option to replace meat with veggie protein if you’re allergic to soy.

    Mock duck is delicious, and has a great texture as a meat substitute, though sadly it’s still poison because they flavor it with soy.

  23. Deborah Goldsmith says

    The reference is to Irish Spring soap commercials, IIRC. Nice to know what my brain is wasting neurons on when I can’t remember people’s names…

  24. brightmoon says

    I have some turkey burgers . I thaw them then add some veggies . The usual suspects: corn, peas, carrots, garbanzos,string beans, onions ,garlic . Pepper , red pepper flakes and 2 types of Mrs Dash ,adobo, I don’t like turkey burgers as burgers ,so I always make soup/ stew out of them when my sister palms them off on me😁

  25. kenbakermn says

    One thing I love about winter, the Irish pubs put shepard’s pie back on the menu. I would eat that every night if my wife would let me.

  26. StevoR says

    It’s not stew but my Mum makes the best Pumpkin soup. My fave. Especially with added cheese that melts in. Also celery soup. Plus a friend’s mushroom soup.

    Oh & happy Solstice everyone.

    (Earth’s 23 degree axial tilt is the reason for ALL seasons.)

  27. nomaduk says

    I mainly remember the “Aye, a bit too manly” part.

    Another product had the “Strong enough for a man — but made for a woman” tag. Another example of Madison Avenue genius.

  28. says

    If anyone has a problem with Impossible ingredients, then you’ve never eaten at McDonald’s. Or you have but you’re ignorant of their ingredients list…

    (Seriously. Google that shit. There’s a reason I refer to the McDonald’s menu as “food based products”.)

  29. R. L. Foster says

    I’d love to eat Impossible Food products, but I’ve developed a soy protein allergy.

    Tonight I’m making a farro and porcini mushroom risotto flavored with rosemary and garlic. It’s not a vegan recipe because I’ll add some grated Romano at the end.

  30. says

    “Manly, yes, but ladies like it too.” —Irish Spring soap.
    “Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.” —Secret deodorant.
    My favorite was that greatest of advancements in equality between the sexes, women’s cigarettes.Virginia Slims. “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.”
    I get all the references. Not only am I of a certain age, I watched way too much TV as a youth. My memory is ridiculous. I can sing cigarette jingles that haven’t been aired in 50 years. Which I will be doing the rest of the day, as my brain is forever tuned in to WORM radio.

  31. birgerjohansson says

    “You’ve come a long way baby” is what I associate with Fatboy Slim and the music (and video) Right Here, Right Now.
    “In Russia, soup eats you!”.

  32. brucej says

    @John Morales

    “A small gurgle of cheap red wine.”

    I have always followed Sara Moulton’s advice about adding wine to dishes. “You may not taste the wine, but you can certainly taste when it’s missing!”

    My secret ingredient for bean soup (I am partial to the “13 bean soup” type mixes https://www.bobsredmill.com/13-bean-soup-mix.html) is a teaspoon or two (or three) of diced Chipotle chilies https://www.amazon.com/Costena-Chipotle-Peppers-Diced-Ounce/dp/B00MGMGSSS?th=1 Adds heat and the smokiness that bacon or ham usually do. Garlic, onions, some regular chile powder, ground cumin and roasted green chiles. (Costco sells a 40 oz jar of roasted Hatch green chiles. I freeze them in an icecube tray when I open the jar, and toss a cube or two into coups or chile as needed)

  33. birgerjohansson says

    Autobot Silverwynde @ 32
    MacDonald’s makes me think of the sapient Nutr-o-matic food synthesizer in Life, The Universe and Everything. Technically, you get what you order but you may regret it.

  34. says

    How could I forget?
    “A man wants to smell like a man.” Old Spice.
    Sorry to derail the thread here, but all this talk of food is making me ill.

  35. rockwhisperer says

    I always put chunky veggies in bean/split pea/lentil soups. They give the dish a much more interesting texture. Also mushroom quarters; I think my family would disown me if I made soup without mushrooms. :) I’m also fairly heavy-handed with my seasoning, including low-FODMAP onion and garlic replacer powders, but also something like Italian seasoning or low-FODMAP chili powder. Finally, Massel sells a vegan chicken-flavor, reduced sodium stock powder that adds really wonderful flavor. (I buy the low-FODMAP seasonings and the stock powder online.)

    (And yes, I know that pulses have FODMAPs. My particular FODMAP intolerances are alliums and crucifers.)

  36. Tethys says

    Autobot Silverwynde

    If anyone has a problem with Impossible ingredients, then you’ve never eaten at McDonald’s. Or you have but you’re ignorant of their ingredients list…

    There is one ingredient in a McDonalds burger besides seasoning. 100% beef. I don’t have a ‘problem’ with Impossibles ingredients, except for the fact that soy is poisonous to me. It’s really annoying that the US allows toxic waste soy oil to be added to everything from bread to salad dressing. It’s not food.

  37. John Morales says

    Tethys, I choose to read what you wrote as more like:
    “the fact that soy is poisonous to me [means] it’s not food [for me]”.

    Obviously, other people evidently eat it without being poisoned.

  38. Tethys says


    I never had any allergies until the USDA allowed agribusiness chemical companies to pretty much write their policies, and a bunch of rather toxic ingredients are now allowed in ‘food’. (ie; seasonings, preservatives, colorants) Having to read every label for hidden crap (that really shouldn’t be in the food at all) and inquire about all the ingredients (including the type of cooking oil used) in a restaurant is damn exhausting.

    Several European countries straight out ban their use. American food suppliers don’t even have to tell you what some of their ingredients are, and they often contain zero nutrients. Vitamin E, A are necessary and supplements are not as well absorbed as the food having actual nutritive value.

    Looking at the obesity and diabetes rates of ever increasing Americans, I suspect it’s poisonous to all of us. Soybean oil contains Omega 6, which creates inflammation and is not a healthy oil for human consumption. It’s merely cheap, which is of course why it’s now polluting about 60% to 80% of everything in the grocery store.

    I especially resent the loss of chocolate and any sort of bread product so that a few welfare king agribusinesses can further profit by cheapening the food supply.