Rachel Ray coined the term “Stewp”. Thick soup, soupy stew…It’s Stewp.
This is the Stewp I throw together every time someone get sick or it gets cold. Our recent apocalyptic cold snap here in Florida has resulted in MUCH needed Stewp.
I start with what’s left after Bear has demolished a rotisserie chicken. I put it in a big pot, cover it in water, boil it and then leave it on low for as long as possible. This time I let it go for almost 24 hours. At least 3 hours is preferable. (Using the store-bought rotisserie chickens with the leftover skin also helps flavor the broth.)
Strain the broth, but not directly down the kitchen drain. Strain it into a big bowl. (Admit it. One time or another you’ve drained your broth right down the drain and were left with a LOVELY colander full of neck bones and gizzards.)
Get your broth back on the stove! Warm it up, it’s cold!
Now add the hard veggies, in my case carrots and celery. (I like the leaves so I leave them in the pile.)
Dig up some parsley and rosemary from your garden and whatever other herbs you like.
Strip the leaves off the stems and put the stems in your Stewp.
(What?! Why?!?! Because they will flavor it so well, they’re easy to dig out, and if you add the leaves themselves at this stage they’ll get all smoosh.)
Once they’re all in there, happy and splashy, add in lentils. How much? How many? Oh, about a cup. I chose to execute four, graceful, beautifully executed palm-full dumps.
Now add your dry rice. DON’T. GO. CRAZY. If you have a standard soup pot going, I wouldn’t add more than 1/2-3/4 of a cup. It’s so easy to eyeball rice and turn your soup into…well. A large pile of rice.
If you’re adding quinoa, add about the same amount as rice. EXCEPT. Let it soak in some water for 20-30 minutes, strain it, and then add it. Quinoa can be bitter and give your soup a weird after-taste.
Let all that goodness bathe on medium for as long a it takes you to go pick up you kids from school. (That’s 30-45 minutes if you’re me.)
When you get home, add a giant hunk of garlic. (I added 2.)
Add lots of veg now. I got a big bag of vegetable stir fry and gave it a good chop. This saved me tons of time.
I introduced the veg to all the other Stewp party participants and turn up the heat just a touch. It won’t take long for everyone to get dinner-worthy. If you aren’t in a hurry, then turn the heat DOWN and let it hang out longer.
Right before you serve, add your frozen veg. I added peas because I add peas to everything because they’re delicious, OK?
Then I added my herbs. Let everything warm up and through before you serve.
What you’re left with is dinner-worthy for one, big, hunky, hungry Bear and is a delicious yum-yum nom-dinner for one, adorable, four-year-old Abe. Not to mention…it freezes REALLY well!
Have a beautiful, yummy, WARM weekend. 🙂