In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt; beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine hot water, soup mix, shortening and remaining sugar. Cool to 115°. Add to yeast mixture with 2 cups flour; mix for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch the dough down; divide into thirds. Shape into loaves; place in three greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.