Since I will be heading out of town tomorrow for a couple of days, I decided to use up some random, less-than-fresh produce that has been hanging about in my fridge for a week now. Once I went digging, I found a zucchini, a couple handfulls worth of baby spinach, a green pepper, a couple tablespoons of canned diced tomatoes, some slightly wilty ginger, some lemons, most of a can of pumpkin that I had opened for another purpose and had not yet used, and about 2 cups of cooked pinto beans. (I don't know why I buy pinto beans. I don't really care much for them. Oh well!)
I looked at all of the produce for a few seconds, then put the green pepper and the tomatoes back in the fridge -- they just didn't "belong" with the rest of the ingredients. Then I set half a cup of dried brown basmati rice to cook, before preparing my soon-to-be Midweek Munchies stew!
Here's what I did:
1. I glugged about a tablespoon of canola oil in the bottom of my soup pot and set the heat to medium. I then chopped and dropped, in this order: 1 medium yellow onion, 5 cloves of garlic, about a 2 1/2 inch piece of peeled ginger, and 1 medium zucchini. After each ingredient, I stirred and cooked everything for about a minute, while I prepped the next ingredient.
2. I then stirred in 1 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder and 1 bay leaf, and let the spices toast for a minute.
3. I then stirred in the canned pumpkin, 4 cups of vegetable broth, the spinach, which I had roughly chopped, and the pinto beans. I brought everything to a boil, lowered the heat, and simmered the stew uncovered for about 30 minutes.
4. The rice was done at about the same time as the stew, so I stirred that in, along with the juice of one lemon. I then scooped about 3 cups of the stew out into my blender, and set it to puree. Once I stirred the pureed soup back into the pot, it became lovely, thick, and golden. (Although I did enjoy the orange and green look of the stew, pre-pureeing. But it was more of a soup consistency at that point.) I enjoyed some for lunch with wholegrain pita, and have packed up the rest to freeze for another day.
Speaking of freezing leftovers, I just dug through my freezer, mostly to reorganize and make room for today's creation. Um . . . I may not be cooking much over the next couple of weeks, because I have a LOT of goodies stashed away in there! (Miso soup, chili, chickpea noodle soup, lentil soup, marinara with tofu balls, and refried beans. There's also a frozen pizza, muffin, pancake, and biscuit mixes, and more frozen veggies than I've ever seen in my freezer before!) Whoops! I guess I felt like stockpiling a little bit this winter? Anyhow, I better hurry up and eat up all of those soups, because soup season is quickly drawing to a close.
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Thanks to Harmonia for starting it all!