Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's always soup season in Aberdeen

As the days come and go, we keep checking “moving milestones” off of our list. For instance, today was the last day that our housekeeper, Erica, would clean our house. Since it’s doubtful we’ll hire someone to clean our house in Scotland, it’s safe to say that I am going to miss her a whole heck of a lot. If you’re in the Houston area and looking for someone to tidy up your house, I’d be happy to make a referral.
Another part of the moving process is getting rid of food in the freezer. This means that despite the 85 degree temperatures outside, I made vegetable soup this week. Homemade Vegetable Stew is one of my most favorite recipes, but due to the limited amount of winter days in Texas, it hasn't historically gotten much play time in our household. However, I have a feeling that it’s going to get moved to the starting lineup during our stint in Aberdeen.
It’s a simple recipe, scrumptious, and not unhealthy. If it’s cold where you are, or you cook without regard to season, or if you’re trying to unload 2 pounds of stew meat from your freezer, you may want to give this a try.
Homemade Vegetable Stew- Cajun Style
2 lbs of stew meat cut into bite size pieces
15 oz of stewed tomatoes
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 small can of tomato puree
1 can of kernel corn*
1 can of green beans*
1 can of sliced carrots or 5 carrots cut into bite sized pieces
1 chopped onion
A few cans of tomato paste to adjust consistency
Noodle or rice of your choice (I personally use long macaroni noodles because when they are cooked, you can use them as straws to drink the soup juice. It’s delightful, I promise)
2 large white potatoes peeled and cut into bite sized pieces (or 2 cans of sliced potatoes)
Chopped celery (Optional. Celery and I are not friends so I usually leave it out. The choice is yours depending on your own personal relationship with celery.)
Chopped Cabbage (Also optional.)
Salt, Pepper, and Tony Chachere’s to taste
1.  Put water to boil (I don’t measure, but I’m guessing 6 cups. I’d be conservative because you can always add water later. I also use tomato paste to thicken up if needed). Add tomatoes, onions, celery, stew meat, carrots, cabbage and any other fresh vegetables other than potatoes. Boil for 30 minutes or until meat is tender.

2. Add remaining canned vegetables and potatoes and boil for 5 minutes before adding noodles of your choice.Be careful not to overcook the noodles. You should remove the pot just before the noodles are done because they will continue to cook in the water.
3.  If the noodles soaked up too much water, add water and thicken with tomato paste. You’ll probably need to do this if you have leftovers, because the noodles will continue to absorb water overnight.
4.  Serve with Ritz crackers; preferably in front of a warm and cozy fire. Unless of course, it’s 85 degrees outside, and then enjoy with the air conditioner on full blast.

*Hint: This recipe can be as hard or as simple you make it. You can substitute fresh veggies for canned ones if that’s your thing. Just make sure to add any fresh vegetables into the pot at the beginning to give them time to soften.   

I really hope you get a chance to try this recipe. It’s the type of food that is just good for your soul...and yummy for your tummy.

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