Ordinary Goodness: Soup from Leftovers and a FAST Stew

Over at Sarah’s Diary there is an entry on soup from Leftovers.  I can practically smell how good that must be just from her description of how her leftovers go into the pot and other items are added to cook all day.  Mmmmmmmm!

Leftovers can achieve “prime time” by becoming Vegetable soup. Example in point, we served our company a leg of lamb roast.  There were a few leftovers and they entered my soup pot first.  I added little bits of stuff that I found in the refrigerator. These little bits of leftover foods included garlic, onions, celery, cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and carrots. So far so good. Next came the fun part. The dried herbs from last summers garden– oregano, basil, sage, and parsley, were added by the handful.  Salt and black pepper were next.   The soup kettle will simmer all day on the back of the stove.

I really enjoy a good soup or stew.  My husband prefers the chunkiness and thickness of a stew so that is what I work on learning to do better.

Now, I am less of a cook than Aunt Sarah.  She grows much of her own food and preserves her produce and so has access to plenty of marvelous things for her soup pots.  I don’t do all those things but I do like a stew that is quick and easy. I base it on how many people will be eating.

So here is my fast stew:

frozen veggies:  One bag of bell pepper and onion mix per person; one bag of mixed, low carb veggies per two people. a small handful of frozen turnip greens or spinach per person.  Put all these frozen veggies into a pot on the stove.

Cans of ORGANIC three bean mix:  I choose one can per three people, rinse the contents fully and add the beans to the pot.   (another option is to cook dried beans up and freeze them until you want them for stew.)

Cans of ORGANIC tomatoes: one can of diced tomato with basil, and one can of fire roasted tomatoes for every two persons.  READ the labels and be sure to avoid any that include corn syrup!

Dried Italian Seasoning mix or your favorite seasonings NO SALT:  I use a generous amount, a couple of handfuls at least, as much as a cup, it depends on how much you like seasoning.   Here I recommend Italian because with this much tomato the stew is really good Italian.

Cook thoroughly.  This can be eaten once it has come to a simmer and is totally hot.  This can also simmer on low or in a slow cooker for a couple of hours.  EASY.


  • I sometimes use diced tomatoes with peppers in place of the tomato and basil, then use a Mexican seasoning mix, including lots of cilantro and paprika.
  • Sometimes I’ll even add a dollop of green salsa to the bowl before serving– pretty and delicious!
  • place tabasco, and other interesting things (salsas or horseradish or or worchestshire) on the table so others can add more heat or other flavors as they so desire.

I’m not much of a cook over-all.  Certainly not in the class of Sarah at Sarah’s Diary.  I do however, appreciate good food that is both flavorful and healthy.  I like finding ways that are efficient to meet the tasks that go with my vocation in life.  Both Aunt Sarah’s wonderful recipe for turning leftovers into a good soup and my shortcut to a flavorful stew are examples of healthy and delicious means to fulfill this part of my vocation.  I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post.

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