Soup’s On & Company’s Coming (Giveaway & Online Study Announcement!)

Does the phrase “Company’s coming!” send you running for cover?

I can sooooo relate!

I married into a family full of interior decorators, caterers and Bed and Breakfast owners, while I myself could hardly boil water!

So, I set out to become skilled at “entertaining” to impress my new relatives. However, God quickly taught me the difference between entertaining and offering hospitality, a lesson I learned the hard way.

Entertaining places the emphasis on you and impressing others.

Hospitality places the emphasis on others and refreshing, not impressing, them.

In the month of March, I will be leading an online study of the book I wrote on this topic A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others

This book and study will help you to:

  • Recognize the reason for offering hospitality
  • Identify the top five excuses for not opening your home and apply simple solutions to combat them
  • Arm yourself with cooking-for-a-crowd menu ideas, make-ahead freezer meals and kid-friendly favorites
  • Acquire weekly speed cleaning strategies, a proven system for de-junking your house and simple, doable decorating tips
  • Obtain creative concepts for living a life of welcome wherever you are

Watch for more details to come. And, if you want to join us and don’t have the book yet, go get a copy. (The last online study I did, all of the major retailers were back-ordered for weeks when it got close to the start date so you might want to be ahead of the game.)

The sign-up is simple. Just subscribe to my blog before March 19th when the study kicks off by clicking on the envelope icon in the top of the sidebar. Any new posts I write will be delivered automatically to your email’s inbox!

Now, for a little preview (and a little giveaway) here is a sneak peek at one of the recipes in the book perfect for a winter welcome for guests:

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 cup chopped, peeled carrots

1/2 cup chopped celery

3/4  cup flour

6 cups chicken stock (or 6 cups water with bouillon cubes to taste)

6-ounce package long grain and wild rice

2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast

3 tablespoons cooking sherry (optional)

In a large soup kettle, melt butter and sauté onions, carrots, and celery until tender. Stir in flour. Gradually add stock until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium low. Prepare rice as directed on box, omitting oil and salt. Add rice and chicken to stock and simmer 10 minutes. Add sherry. Serves 10.


I’ll give two copies of A Life That Says Welcome (one for you & one for a friend) so you can join us for the on-line study in March. I’ll also throw in a $5 Starbucks gift card so you and your friend can discuss the book over coffee.

Just leave us a comment telling us your very favorite soup to eat. And, if you leave the recipe, your name will be entered twice. Winner announced Monday (when I’ll also have another very fun announcement too!)

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  1. I would love to win this for myself and a dear friend! My FAVORITE soup is MISO soup:
    2 teaspoons dashi granules
    4 cups water
    3 tablespoons miso paste
    1 (8 ounce) package silken tofu, diced
    2 green onions, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces

    In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine dashi granules and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and whisk in the miso paste. Stir in tofu. Separate the layers of the green onions, and add them to the soup. Simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

  2. One of my favorite soups is also one of my daughter’s (who is a vegetarian) favorites. We call it Mexican soup. 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained, 1 can corn, 1 can Rotel tomatoes w/ chilis. Mix and heat in pan. Once heated through, put in bowl and top with shredded cheese and sour cream if you like. Serve w/ tortilla chips.

  3. My husband and I love Maryland Crab Soup. We ate it at a restaurant and then tried to make it at home. It took a little experimenting with it to make it as we remembered it. Hope you like it too.

    1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, cut into small pieces
    3 cups water
    2 cups beef broth
    1 cup frozen lima beans
    1 cup frozen baby carrots or sliced carrots
    1 cup frozen yellow sweet corn
    2 tablespoons McCormick® Instant Chopped Onions
    2 tablespoons Old Bay® Seasoning
    1 pound backfin blue crab meat, picked over
    1.Place all ingredients except crab meat in 4-quart saucepan.
    2.Heat to boil, cover and boil 5 minutes.
    3.Reduce heat to low, add crab meat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.

  4. Just heard Dr. Oz say we all need to eat more soup! My favorite is Potato Cheese: 4 large potatoes, cubed, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 2 stalks celery; 1 can evaporated milk; 1 can low sodium chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of butter, velveeta cheese. Cook onion and celery in butter until tender; add potatoes, carrots, onion and celery to the chicken broth. Cook until potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Add one can of evaporated milk. When heated through, add 3/4 cup of cubed velveeta. Allow cheese to melt. Serve and enjoy!

  5. I really do love ALL soups–but esp. the “make it up as you go” kind! :) Yes, it can get pretty crazy, and there are some failures–but I always learn so much from those mess-ups, just like I do in my LIFE mess-ups! :) But a fave I do have is what I’ve dubbed “Black and White Chili”!
    BTW–I reeeeely would love to be more “hospitable” (my home has a good open layout for it!)–but I always stress about cleaning, prepping, what dishes to use, the “perfect” thing to fix (HA!), etc. And I’m not organized in the kitchen (or anywhere, for that matter! :), so I get frantic and then can’t enjoy the moment, before, during, after!
    What a waste, when I could be reaching out to others, connecting with them, drawing them to know our God! :( HELP!!! Thanks so much! chris
    Brown a pound of ground turkey in olive oil, season to taste with onions, garlic, ce;lery, cumin, fresh ground pepper, salt.
    Add large box (32 oz.) of broth (I like veg. or ckn, but beef will work, too, just gives more beefy flavor)
    One can of black beans and one cans of white beans–drained but not rinsed (i like the little white ones–i think they’re the navy ones–can also use hominy which will thicken your liquid some, but tastes oh so corny-yummy! Be adventurous and mix up the kinds of beans! :)
    One can (15-16 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, juice and all… again, you can get adventurous here and use the ones w/seasonings in them–sky’s the limit, palate may scream! :)
    Toss in some shredded fresh carrots–great for crunch, color, and of course nutrition!
    Notes: I usually double this recipe–coz I love it, and I love having plenty of leftovers!
    Great served with tortilla chips, sour cream, and even try a squeeze of fresh lime juice=yum! :)
    If you like thinner base, add up to a can of water, or broth, using one of the empty bean cans.
    SIT BACK AND ENJOY!!! Cornbread and a salad–you’re good to go! :)

  6. Olive Garden® Zuppa Toscana
    This is a much requested recipe on the site given its name! Someone who used to work at the Olive Garden sent in the original recipe and I’ve adapted it to serve just 6-8. Try it since it is really yummy!

    It is a very good soup and hits the spot on cold winter days. I’ve included this and a few other Olive Garden-inspired recipes on the site for all of our visitors that enjoy eating at the restaurant chain. In my opinion, making these recipes at home makes them even better than the ones you eat at the restaurant!

    Makes: 6-8 servings

    1 lb ground Italian sausage
    1½ tsp crushed red peppers
    1 large diced white onion
    4 Tbsp bacon pieces
    2 tsp garlic puree
    10 cups water
    5 cubes of chicken bouillon
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
    ¼ of a bunch of kale
    1.Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.

    2.In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
    3.Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.

    4.Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
    5.Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
    6.Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve.

  7. I love potato chowder. There is somthing very comforting and warming about this soup. The best part is that is done in the microwave!

    Baked Potato Chowder
    • 3 baking potatoes, large (about 2 1/2 pounds)
    • 3 1/2 cups milk, divided
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2-3 green onions (with tops)
    • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
    • bacon, chopped and cooked
    • sour cream
    • broccoli floret, steamed
    1. 1
    Slice potatoes in half lengthwise with Santoku Knife.
    2. 2
    Place in Deep Covered Baker.
    3. 3
    Pour 1/2 cup of the milk over the potatoes.
    4. 4
    Microwave, covered on high for 11 minutes. Remove baker from microwave.
    5. 5
    Move center potatoes to ends of baker and outer potatoes to center.
    6. 6
    Cover and microwave on high 8 to 11 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
    7. 7
    Remove baker from microwave and coarsely mash potatoes with Mix ‘N Chop.
    8. 8
    Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese until smooth in Classic Batter Bowl.
    9. 9
    Slowly add remaining 3 cups milk, whisking until smooth.
    10. 10
    Add cream cheese mixture and butter to baker.
    11. 11
    Microwave, covered, on high 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is hot.
    12. 12
    Slice green onions with Chef’s Knife.
    13. 13
    Carefully remove baker from microwave.
    14. 14
    Grate cheddar cheese over chowder using Rotary Grater.
    15. 15
    Add green onions, salt, and black pepper and mix using Small Mix ‘N Scraper until cheese is melted.
    16. 16
    Serve with bacon, sour cream, and broccoli, if desired.

    ~From Pampered Chef

  8. My favorite is my mom’s chili! Such a warm feeling!
    Lb of ground beef – brown
    large can tomato juice
    2 cans chili beans
    can diced tomatoes
    chili powder
    garlic salt
    Mix well, simmer for about 3 hours
    Serve over white rice with cheese, sour cream and fritos

  9. Wow! Lots of great recipes shared here! I really like split pea and lentil soup. Here’s a recipe for split pea with ham. Enjoy!

    Split Pea Soup with Ham
    From the back of the Safeway Green Split Peas package : )

    Makes 6 servings


    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 onions, chopped
    2 carrots, peeled and chopped
    2 celery stalks, chopped
    2 lbs. ham hocks (about 3)
    1-1 1/2 lbs. ham steak, fat removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
    4 bay leaves
    3 quarts (12 cups) water
    1 lb. split peas, rinsed
    1 teaspoon dried thyme


    In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over high heat. Sauté onions, carrots and celery until vegetables begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add ham hocks, chopped ham, bay leaves and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 2-2 1/2 hours or until ham is very tender. Remove ham hocks and bones. Shred meat into bite-size pieces and return to stock. Discard bones.

    Add split peas and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour and 20 minutes or until peas dissolve and thicken soup. Remove bay leaves. (Soup may be refrigerated for several days or frozen.)

  10. Black Bean Minestrone
    1 T olive oil
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1 cup chopped carrots
    2 stalks celery, sliced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    4 cups water or vegetable broth
    1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 cup fresh or frozen green beans
    1 cup chopped tomatoes, unpeeled, unseeded
    1 cup chopped fresh spinach or 1/2 cup frozen spinach
    1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
    1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. pepper

    Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, carrots, and celery until veggies are softened. Stir in garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, so garlic does not burn.

    Add water or broth, black beans, green beans, tomatoes, spinach, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Stir in parsley just before serving.

    Can add rice, barley, or pasta
    For more tomato flavor, add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
    Use 1 (14.5) ounce can or undrained diced tomatoes instead of fresh

  11. I would love to win your book.

    So my FAV soup is loaded baked potato soup and here is my recipe…
    Get in the car, drive to Sardinia Perks (a locally owned coffee shop) and order some!!
    My family is NOT a soup fan, so there is no point in me even trying to imitate their recipe. :)

  12. My favorite soup to make and eat is my easy baked potato soup or maybe chicken chowder depending on my mood.

  13. My favorite soup is French Onion at Red Robin. At home, I use Campbells and toss a few croutons and shredded cheese (if I’m in the mood) into the bowl. Honestly, I’ve never considered serving soup to guests/family/friends.

  14. I recently had Lentil Soup and I believe it is now one of my favorites.

    1 lb Italian sausage (You can also use Italian turkey sausage)
    1 large onion , chopped, 1 stalk celery , chopped, 2 large carrots , chopped, 1 small zucchini , chopped..I put all this into the food processor and chop it together. works out great.

    6 cups chicken broth
    2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes , undrained
    2 -3 garlic cloves
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 cups dry lentils
    black pepper to taste
    red pepper flakes
    basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, I use whatever I have dried. if I have any fresh its even better.


    1. Brown sausage; drain off fat and chop it into pieces. 2. In a large pot combine all ingredients bring to boil.3. Reduce heat,cover. 4. Simmer for about 1 hour or until lentils are tender. Add water if necessary, for desired consistency. Some people puree about 1 cup of the soup and add back to pot to give it a thicker consistency. I don’t. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with rolls.

  15. Zucchini Beef Soup
    1/2 lb ground beef
    2 ribs celery
    1/3 c chopped onion
    1/2 c chopped green pepper
    1 can (28oz) diced Italian tomatoes, undrained
    3 med zucchini, cubed
    2 c water
    1 tea Italian seasoning
    1 tea salt
    1 tea beef boullion
    1/2 tea sugar
    pepper to taste
    shredded parmesan cheese, opt.
    cook beef, celery, onion, green pepper till meat is done and veggies are tender, drain. stir in tomatoes, water, seasonings. bring to boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-25 min until zucchini is tender. garnish with parmesan.

  16. Try Blueberry Soup – especially good in summertime! 1 cup blueberries, 1 slice lemon with seeds removed, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cups water, 3 T sugar, pinch of salt, 1 T cornstarch, 1 t frozen orange juice concentrate, whipped cream to garnish (optional but delicious!). Combine blueberries, lemon, cinnamon and water in saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add sugar and salt. Combine cornstarch with a little water and add to mixture. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer 1 minulte. Remove cinnamon stick. Puree mixture in blender until smooth. Taste, then add orange juice concentrate for stronger flavor, if desired. Serve chilled with whipped cream. 4 – 6 servings.

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