I was recently reminded of an incident that illustrates how frustratingly funny (both strange and ha ha) life can be sometimes. Here’s how it went down:
A few years ago, my husband and I finally gave up the fight and bought cell phones, a major expense for us. Shortly afterward, I was sitting at the table with my daughter and a slew of her friends for lunch. I looked around the table and saw. . .a forest of tall glasses–full of water, one at each child’s place. Looked at my cell phone lying on the table. Looked at the full water glasses. Looked at my cell phone. Plucked my cell phone up from the danger of the imminent flood–and promptly dropped it into my soup.
The soup was good though. Here is the recipe:
Buy a chicken to roast. Roast it (what else?) Have a nice dinner with your family, but freeze 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken for the soup.
Next, cook up the chicken bones for broth. You can do it! It’s easy! Just break up the bones and cover with 12 to 16 cups of water. Throw in some raw veggies (carrots, celery, onion, whatever you have.) Add a tablespoon of vinegar, a few cloves of garlic, two or three bay leaves, some peppercorns, and salt. Bring to boil, then simmer for HOURS. Try for at least four hours. Scoop out the goop, then strain out the little stuff. Put the broth in the fridge until cool to make it easy to skim off the fat. After it is cooled, freeze in 2 cup portions. Pat yourself on the back for being all frugal and Suzy Homemaker-y.
Now (and stay with me) buy a 32 ounce container of your favorite yogurt. Eat it, make smoothies or cakes or whatever, but save the container. Put it in your freezer. When you have vegetables leftover at supper that are not enough to keep for another meal, put it in the yogurt container with the juice. When the container is full, make some soup!
Add the frozen, leftover veggies to 6 cups of the wonderful homemade broth you concocted. Add the leftover chicken. Bring to a boil. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of barley. Reduce heat and simmer until barley is cooked. Season to taste. Serve with hot cornbread–of course, bake the cornbread in a skillet!
Note: Keep your cell phone far, far away from the soup.
PS: Ok, I know many of you reading this blog (if there are many of you reading this blog. Ok, some of you reading this blog. OK!) If one were to actually read this blog, one might wonder (satisfied?) why is this soup called Southwest Stew? There are no spices or ingredients that are usually found in dishes called Southwest Something. Here’s the story. I promise you, it’s short. We’re almost done here.
Once upon a time, I was an office manager for a homeless shelter. Once a week, our cook would gather whatever leftover veggies and meat were available in the walk-in refrigerator and make soup. This yummy dish was known as Walk-in Stew. You get it, right? Walk-in fridge/walk-in stew? Ok, then. This name sounded less than appetizing to me because it reminded me of feet, so I decided to change the name. (Yes! I changed the name of the soup by fiat. Office managers rule!) The kitchen was in the south west corner of the building, so, voila! Southwest Stew! Enjoy!