Mom-Friendly Meals: Stone Soup

Remember the story of “Stone Soup“?

I’ve always been a little conflicted about that story. Sure, the villagers were miserly with their food stores. So you can read it as the story of how a traveler convinced them to open up and be a community.

But can’t you also read it as the story of someone who entered a town, tricked everyone into eating the last of their food, and then left a starving village behind?

Fortunately, one of the main points of the story doesn’t involve trickery at all. It simply involves using what you have available.

The other night, I wanted to make soup. In the freezer, I found chicken stock and a variety of frozen vegetables–peas, corn, and spinach, in this case. And in a jar on the counter, I found what I think was linguini (I’m not sure why we had it, since we tend to buy capellini, and since I am not terribly well-versed in pasta varieties, it might have been something other than linguini).

Now, if I’m shopping to make vegetable soup, I might include carrots and bell peppers. But I didn’t have time to go to the store, so I used what I had on hand.

I put the stock in a pot and added some water (I hadn’t thawed enough stock, I realized after the fact). When it came to a boil, I added the vegetables and broke the linguini into smaller pieces. Once everything was hot and the pasta had softened, I added some salt and pepper–you could, of course, add any other spices you want, but I kept it simple this time.

Stone Soup

What have you got on hand? And what can you do with it?

Spinach and Tomato Tortellini Soup

In my efforts to eat what we already own, I discovered an enormous package of cheese tortellini in the chest freezer we have in the garage. This recipe only uses about a third of that, but it’s a start, right?

Spinach and Tomato Tortellini Soup

3-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach
1 can diced tomatoes
8 oz. tortellini
garlic powder
basil
salt
coarse-ground white pepper

Bring the stock and spinach to a boil. Add tomatoes and reduce to simmer. Add tortellini and spices and cook for 10 more minutes, or until tortellini is tender.

Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Spinach and Tomato Tortellini Soup

Three Day Weekend

Mr. Sandwich and I each have jobs that give us Veterans Day off, and Baguette’s day care is closed on Veterans Day, so we had a three-day weekend. One day per family member! Except Wicket. No extra day for Wicket. She’d just sleep through it, anyhow.

So what did we do with this glorious time?

We ran a lot of errands. Mr. Sandwich went on a bike ride. I took Baguette to her swim class, and we met Bestie and Family for lunch at McDonald’s (Hey, Mickey D’s, why no more Chicken Selects? They were the only thing I was really willing to eat there.). Wicket went to the groomer. I made two batches of chicken stock in the crock pot, as well as two loaves of pumpkin bread, minus the pumpkin (an oversight, but not a fatal one, it turns out).

Oh, and there was this.

Blood drive for Hurricane Sandy relief

Good luck, New Jersey. I wish there were more I could do.