Idiots in the Kitchen #1: Chuck-It-All Veggie Soup

I decided that Tuesdays will be “Idiots in the Kitchen” day.  I’m not a wizardy super chef or anything.  In fact, I’m a “There’s nothing to eat because it takes too long to cook” chef.  It’s time to change that.

It’s winter (complete with snow and everything!) and I felt like having some warm soup to cozy up with.  It also helps with the sniffles.  To that end, I put some dry beans on to boil last night.

Dry beans are the dust catchers of the kitchen.  We buy bags of them thinking, Hey, I’ll make something with these this weekend!  We don’t.  Well, at least I don’t.  So they linger in my kitchen, sad and forgotten in a back cabinet.  I dislike dried beans for one reason:  the instructions are overly optimistic when they say that soaking them overnight and cooking them for an hour or two will be enough to make edible beans.  Liar-liar-pants-on-fire!  What works for me:  Boil the beans the night before you need them (at least two hours), leave them to soak overnight, and then boil/bake them again in whatever you are cooking to make sure they are done.

I’m a big fan of “toss it in” soups.  This makes a good meal and cleans out the fridge and cupboards in one swoop.  Leftovers?  Toss it in.  Wilty salad?  Toss it in.  New groceries?  Toss it in.

I started simmering the soup on low this morning and the smell has been wafting through the house all day.  Here’s what I tossed in:

Chuck-It-All Veggie Soup

1/2 bag of mixed soup beans
1 jar of Northern Beans
1 large white onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 c. beef broth
1.5 c. (estimated) rice
1/2 c. John Cope’s dried sweet corn
1 c. frozen peas
1/2 bag of salad greens
3 handfuls of baby spinach
Misc. salad fixings:  carrots, peppers
Spices:  Ms. Dash spicy mix, dry mustard, black pepper, celery powder, chili powder, Tabasco sauce, thyme

Feel free to toss in any meats you have as leftovers (browned ground beef or sausage would be lovely!) or even new stew meat or chicken to add a bit of meaty-goodness.  I only had a couple of giant roasts–still frozen–and I wasn’t going to thaw them out for just this.  

I also hopped to Panera and got a few bread bowls to serve it in!  Yes, I admit, I am a cheaty-pants.  It’s ok.  Sometimes convenience isn’t a bad thing…

 Note to self:  In future, do not use diced tomato with chiles added.  Spice it by hand.

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