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Sunday Soup with Phil, Feb. 28, 2021

Welcome back to my blog. As usual, I am going to think of you as a friend joining me for some conversation and a bowl of soup. Today’s recipe that we are preparing is "Chicken Pozole With Red Chili" that was submitted to us by Joyce Rogers of Juanita’s Foods. David Johnson, our main potter of BCEB selected the recipe at random from our soon to be printed Cookbook. Advance orders are currently being taken on the website under the Cookbook tab. Save $5 by ordering in advance.

Last Sunday’s soup that I prepared was “Black-Eyed Pea, Kale and Ham Soup.” A recipe that was contributed by Dione Doty of Bella Vista, AR. I usually do not go out of my way to eat kale, but I must say this soup was not too bad. Kind of like having your soup and salad at the same time. Last week I shared some of the soup with Davey to see if he liked it. (Kind of like Mikey in the old Life Cereal commercial, if Davey likes it, it has to be good.) Well, Davey liked it so the “Black-Eyed Pea, Kale and Ham Soup” is officially a hit.

Here is a photo of the soup, served in one of our green handcrafted ceramic soup bowls, more are still available in Shop Now.

The recipe called for 4 cups of kale; well, a whole “bunch” is 5 cups, so I threw it all in. Also, the recipe called for 2 cups of frozen black-eyed peas and a package is 2 ½ cups, so the extra also went in. I served it with some Italian Herb Flatbread Crackers, which went very well with the soup. The soup was easy and fast to make. It was quite colorful very holiday oriented with red tomato and green kale. Also, with the black-eyed peas and greens, it would be the perfect soup for New Year’s Day, aren’t those to food items if eaten on New Year’s Day, supposed to bring you prosperity according to legend?

Prosperity and calmness are what we really hope and pray for. We need to get on the other side of this pandemic. There are even more and more people that are food insecure during this recovery period. BCEB is striving to make a difference. We are planning our events for 2021, an ice-cream social on the 4th of July, booths at art festivals in October and our soup event in November on Veterans Day.

Speaking of soup, let us get this week’s soup started. Now, I always try my darndest to follow a recipe on the first preparation. The ingredients were not readily available, and I ended up having to go to three different stores to find the ingredients called for. Turns out that has a product, but the physical store does not, and since I waited until Saturday to get the ingredients, I could not order online. Kind of like when I had to go to three different stores to find the burgundy wine a couple weeks ago. This recipe calls for four different kinds of chili’s, two dried and two ground. A whole chicken and a lot of hominy. I am not sure if I have ever had hominy before. (I have had hominy grits; I love the real grits.) So, another new food experience for this Northern Transplant to Arkansas. According to the recipe, it serves 16 people, so I will have plenty to share.

Sharing is what Benton County Empty Bowls does, we are having our Cookbook Fundraiser in order to be able to offset our material costs, website, and other expenses, so that as much as possible can be passed on to Food Banks and Pantries. So far, we have been able to pass on 100 % of monies raised from the sale of our bowls to help those in need. As I have told you before, we are completely a volunteer organization, no one draws a salary or wage, all of our time is donated toward our cause of helping the food insecure in our surrounding counties.

Lest I forget, last Monday I had the had the happy and very exciting experience of shipping our 1,000th bowl sold and including our Bonus Bowl to the happy purchaser, Katie Haynes of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

I spoke with her on the phone and she was extremely happy. She told me that she has never won anything before. So, I told her that she can no longer say that. She received the bowls yesterday and will be sending us a photo of her along with her two new bowls.

As always, I invite your comments and questions, even constructive criticism is accepted.

See y’all next Sunday, until then, do not be afraid to try something new and different. Enjoy life!

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