A ship's cook can always use a few more helping hands, and any creature can make a good soup if they've got the right ingredients, and a hot (but not too hot!) pot.
The goal of this is to keep the three pots simmering on the fire at a hot enough - but not too hot - temperature (between 120 and 200). If you are approaching (within 10 degrees) the extremes, a blue or red light will flash. After the first 45 seconds, you get 1G/15 seconds.
To increase the temperature of a pot, you can put the lid on it (Move the lid around by draging it to the pot you want it on). You can also increase the temperature by putting in an ingredient which matches the color of the contents of the pot. Be warned - if you put in an ingredient which does not match the color of the contents in the pot, the temperature will go down as much as it would have gone up! Different ingredients change the temperature to varrying degrees.