Every woman has shortcuts. Lots of mine happen in the kitchen. I love salad-in-a-bag, taco dinner kits, and instant pudding. My bread machine occupies a prominent spot on my counter.
My favorite culinary shortcut is one I discovered just this year, when the combination of soccer carpools, math tutoring, and a book deadline threatened to send me over the edge.
I discovered the Soup Peddler. The Soup Peddler has been a local hero for years now. This quirky South Austin engineer left The Land of Cubicles, as he calls it, and decided to start a business cooking homemade soups and delivering them to friends on his bike.
David Ansel’s first delivery route included seventeen customers. His business grew, and he outfitted his bike with a baby trailer to keep up with demand. These days, his business employees a fleet of trucks that make deliveries around town, different zip codes each day of the week.
Today is Soup Day at our house, which means when I finish dropping off soccer players I get to go home to a pot of homemade soup and a loaf of fresh bread (courtesy of my bread machine, of course). I can’t tell you how much stress this shortcut takes out of my day!
The Soup Peddler gets his inspiration from his travels around the world. I’ve got his cookbook at home, and it includes recipes such as Alaskan Salmon Chowder (one of my personal favorites), Ukrainian Borscht, Bouillabaisse Marseillaise, and South Austin Chili. Peppered between the soup recipes are stories and personal anecdotes.
The book is called The Soup Peddler’s Slow and Difficult Soups, which David Ansel says is his dig at our fast-and-easy culture. He says in the introduction that the book is about “how the mundane aspects of life, such as food and work, can be utterly consuming and rewarding, as long as they are humbly infused with your spirit and creativity.”
What a beautiful thought.
So, on weekends I like to get out my cookbook, and linger around the stove, cooking and talking and drinking wine.
And on those super-busy work days, I take a shortcut and call up the Soup Peddler.
What shortcuts do you use on your busiest days?