At Home with Paducah Bank President and Crafty Cook, Wally Bateman


“I love my husband’s cooking,” says Wally Bateman’s wife, Janie. “Everything is always delicious. The only problem is I never have anything twice. He doesn’t use a recipe, and he never writes anything down!” ~ The hardest part of the preparation for this article, it seems, was not the cooking of the Hearty Vegetable Soup that Wally agreed to prepare for our first amateur chef entry, it was transcribing the process. “I really like the creative side of cooking,” Wally comments. “I like to enjoy a wonderful meal at a restaurant and then attempt to duplicate the flavor at home. Unfortunately, I never write anything down, and I am not very good at following a recipe.” It’s always a totally expressive exercise for the plate and the palate.

Wally attributes much of his kitchen craftiness to his grandmother, who didn’t do anything fancy—just basic good cooking—which proved to be an excellent resource for his later encounters with nature’s bounty. From his domestic roots he took his cooking skills to school in Indiana at Hanover College. “A fraternity brother and I used to make hot browns for everybody on Sunday afternoon,” Wally remembers—as many as 50 or so at a time. How were they received we asked? “Well, they were hungry,” Wally laughs.

atHomeCraftyCookWally’s Winter Hardy Vegetable Beef Soup is a concoction he has been refining for over 20 years and only at our insistence now committing to writing. When you read the recipe you will notice it is enhanced by another of his brainchilds: Paducah Bank’s very own WOW Sauce. “As a part of our customer relation initiatives at the bank, we work very hard to WOW our customers!” Wally explains. As a matter of fact, every Paducah Bank employee carries a commitment card which, among other things, contains the bank’s 15 service basics, and basic number eight reads as follows: “As owners (100% of the employees own stock), we are empowered to utilize resources necessary to address and resolve issues in order to WOW the customer. Each of us is responsible for identifying opportunities to provide an outstanding customer experience.”

“So when we wanted to develop a fun item we could use for promotional purposes, we looked for a natural tie back into our service behaviors, and voila, Paducah Bank WOW Sauce was born.” (By the way, the label reads: The Best Darned Hot Sauce Between Monkey’s Eyebrow and Possum Trot.) This secret ingredient is just one of the special touches that Wally’s soup brings to the table. The other is his suggestion wherever possible to substitute wine for water. “I rarely ever use water and instead almost always use wine for the wonderful dimension it adds.”


In the recipe you’ll note that the list of ingredients calls for two bottles of wine; one inexpensive. That’s the one in the soup. The other one is reserved for the delectable dining experience served up by Paducah Bank President Wally Bateman, himself!

Bon appetit!

Winter Hardy Vegetable Beef Soup (Makes 8-10 Quarts)
– 3-5 lbs. sirloin tip steak cubed to desired size
– 1 46 oz. can V8 Juice
– 3 14 1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes w/garlic and onions
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– 1 medium sweet onion chopped to desired size
– 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
– 1 tbs. Paducah Bank WOW Sauce
– 1/2 tbs. garlic salt
– 5 bouillon cubes
– 4 spears celery chopped to desired size
– 1 28 oz. package frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, green beans, peas, lima beans)
– 1/2 cup uncooked rice or 2 medium uncooked potatoes cubed to desired size
– 2 bottles of wine (one inexpensive)
In a large kettle (12-16 quart) combine steak, olive oil, Worcestershire Sauce, onion, garlic salt, and Paducah Bank WOW Sauce (see label design inset). Cover and simmer over low-to-medium heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.After 25 minutes, add the V8 Juice, tomatoes, celery, bouillon cubes, vegetables, rice or potatoes, and one bottle of wine (the inexpensive one). Cover and simmer over low-to-medium heat for 120 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may add a little water if too thick for your taste. Open second bottle of wine and enjoy!