Tonight I made pantry stew in honor of my dad, who was known for mixing his food in crazy fashion. He would have loved this soup. Tomorrow it will be 8 years since we lost him to lung disease. I miss him.
I decided to share the recipe with you. The problem is, there is no recipe.
So, I decided to take a picture of the pot I made tonight...but then stopped, because I realized that that would be misleading; it never looks the same way twice.
I'm just going to tell you about this wonder. You take whatever you happen to have in the pantry by way of veggies or beans and throw it in with some root veggies or whatever is going to go bad if it doesn't get used.
Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself...I'll start from the beginning.
Start by heating up some olive oil on medium and then saute a chopped up onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Brown some ground beef or some stew meat.
Add to that a couple of carrots, a couple of stalks of celery, and a couple of potatoes. Have squash? Add it. Have zucchini? Add it. Have broccoli? Add it.
It is that kind of dish...forget "a cup of" or "two tsps of"...its just "some" and "a couple". Let your hair down. Be free.
Pour in a can of chicken or beef stock. Add enough water to come up to the top of the veggies already in the pot. Use bullion instead of stock, if you must.
Pinch of salt and some pepper.
This is where it gets interesting. Ready?
Beans. I added great northern, black, kidney, and green tonight. Sometimes I add pinto. Sometimes I add navy. I always mix it up. Three or four cans is about right.
I added a can of corn tonight too. And a small can of green chilis. And a small bottle of pimentos, because I wanted the jar to use for salad dressing in my lunch. I threw in a handful of chopped tomatoes. Sometimes I use a can of diced. Tonight I used fresh, because they are coming out of my garden right now. I was going to add mushrooms, but only had canned and didn't feel like it. So sue me.
Once the potatoes are tender, I add the spices. This gets fun because I pull down half my spice cabinet to do it.
Basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley, marjoram, and savory. Pinch of each. I thought about dill and then decided that wasn't the direction my heart was taking me. Turmeric, cumin, and red pepper tonight. Just a bit. A dash of seasoning salt. Splashes of Worcestershire sauce.
Voila! Curl up on the couch with a bowl of this in your lap. I'm going to eat mine with some homemade bread my visiting teacher brought me yesterday.
Have I mentioned I love fall? And my dad.