I’m a pretty gigantic fan of “poking around.” Do you know how many spectacular things have happened in the name of “poking around?” No? Well, when you have an exact number, please come back and tell me. 😀 All I know is that a bunch of our favorite meals have occurred in the name of “poking around.”
This was such a case. During our recent cold snap here in the Northwest … otherwise known as June … I got a hankering for soup. But the soup I planned to make required a bunch of ingredients that were still at the store, waiting for me to come and get them. And I just didn’t feel like going to the store. So I started poking around in the fridge, freezer and pantry. I’d made chicken stock a few days earlier from the remnants of a rotisserie chicken, and I had some potatoes that needed dealing with, and it’s almost time to dehydrate another 50 lbs of onions to get us through this coming winter (please allow me my Laura Ingalls-fantasy-of-the-week), so I figured I may as well use up the last of the dehydrated onions from last winter … and then, just at the last minute, I found a bag of turkey meatballs I had made up last month and forgotten about. And here is the results. I like to call it:
“Let’s See What We Have” Soup
- 6-8 cups chicken stock, homemade or not
- 4 large potatoes, diced (I used Yukon Gold)
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced fine
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can corn
- 1 small can green chilis
- 2-3 tsps Tony Chechere’s seasoning
- turkey meatballs (may I humbly suggest this recipe?)
- salt and pepper to taste
This is a little on the spicy side, but you can easily control that by making your turkey meatballs a little less spicy, and maybe using only half a jalapeno in the soup, and backing up a bit on the Tony Chechere’s seasoning. I would, of course, never do any of those things … but that’s just me. 🙂
In a little olive oil, saute the peppers, onion and jalapeno until nice and brown. At the last minute … meaning three minutes before you’re going to shut off the heat … add the minced garlic. If you add it too soon, it can cook too long and get bitter.
A quick note about olive oil: “they” will tell you not to use it for sauteing, because it has a lower smoking point than other oils. What they mean by that is that olive oil breaks down faster than other oils, at which point it begins to smoke. But the “when” of that point depends entirely on the quality of olive oil you’re using. The higher the quality, the sooner it smokes. I just buy the giant bottle of olive oil at Costco and it’s never been a problem for me. Save the good quality olive oil for using in dressings and dips and you’ll be fine.
I used a filter on my Instagram picture that made these peppers and onions look way over done, but they weren’t. They were just right.
On that note … are you as taken with Instagram as I am? I kind of wonder what I did before it came along.
While the onions and peppers are cooking, take about these many potatoes …
… turn them into this:
… and this:
… and cover with your chicken broth to cook while you’re getting everything else ready.
When the peppers and onions are nice and soft (and browned up), add those to the pot of potatoes and broth. Then add everything else: the corn, chilis, seasonings, and meatballs. Cook another 30-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and everything has had a chance to mingle.
I knew I had a hit on my hands when Dave called it delicious … like, four times.
Yet ANOTHER reason why it’s so great to do some batch cooking.