Author Topic: Soups and stews  (Read 140 times)

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Offline boomer

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Soups and stews
« on: September 20, 2022, 08:56:51 AM »
When does soup become stew? Don't really know and probably doesn't matter.

 Things are cooling off in the SW and mornings are hinting at brisk. Won't be long before the wood stoves get going again. All of which signals soup and stew time.

Beans, especially pintos,  are on a lot of tables year round along with a few other staples but Fall seems to open things up a bit. A lot of the traditional food in this area is pretty simple yet delicious beyond compare. Cast iron and wood stoves are complimentary components in many homes.

Two Fall favorites for me start with Great Northern Beans or Split Peas.

Clean out the wood stove and set a moderate fire
Freshen up a favorite large Dutch Oven
Pre soaked beans are drained and rinsed then tossed in the DO
Chop up a red onion and a handful of Garlic cloves
Add just about anything else - carrots, celery, squash, kale, whatever you like
A little salt but not much
And then a small handful of the new season red chile powder*
Mix it around a bit and add enough clean cold water to cover by a couple inches
Put the pot on the hot.

Go do some chores or read a book or just pass some time. It'll take a couple hours to cook.  May need to stir occasionally if the stove is too hot but that's all. When it smells ready and the beans are soft but not mushy it is. Usually takes about 3 hours except split peas that cook fairly quickly and need a little more watching.

Add some cornbread or tortillas or the like to the meal and eat up. Simple, quick, delicious and nutritious.


* Chile here is not the same as chili which is a different critter altogether.  We eat a lot of chile out here. Roasting chile signals the end of summer growing season even more than the sound of folks checking their rifle sights. Either green or red chile is part of most meals in some manner. Getting both green and red on a plate is called  "Christmas" as in a "huevos rancheros, Christmas" order in a restaurant. Capsacian content runs from Gringo Mild to 4 Alarm all the way to 911. It's a good idea to ask for a small taste before ordering. A lot of restaurants have that notice on the menu. 

The nutritional profile is good for chile. I eat gringo mild red pretty much every day on way or another. 





« Last Edit: September 20, 2022, 09:01:52 AM by boomer »

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Soups and stews
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2022, 07:27:28 AM »
When does soup become stew? Don't really know and probably doesn't matter.

 Things are cooling off in the SW and mornings are hinting at brisk. Won't be long before the wood stoves get going again. All of which signals soup and stew time.

Beans, especially pintos,  are on a lot of tables year round along with a few other staples but Fall seems to open things up a bit. A lot of the traditional food in this area is pretty simple yet delicious beyond compare. Cast iron and wood stoves are complimentary components in many homes.

Two Fall favorites for me start with Great Northern Beans or Split Peas.

Clean out the wood stove and set a moderate fire
Freshen up a favorite large Dutch Oven
Pre soaked beans are drained and rinsed then tossed in the DO
Chop up a red onion and a handful of Garlic cloves
Add just about anything else - carrots, celery, squash, kale, whatever you like
A little salt but not much
And then a small handful of the new season red chile powder*
Mix it around a bit and add enough clean cold water to cover by a couple inches
Put the pot on the hot.

Go do some chores or read a book or just pass some time. It'll take a couple hours to cook.  May need to stir occasionally if the stove is too hot but that's all. When it smells ready and the beans are soft but not mushy it is. Usually takes about 3 hours except split peas that cook fairly quickly and need a little more watching.

Add some cornbread or tortillas or the like to the meal and eat up. Simple, quick, delicious and nutritious.


* Chile here is not the same as chili which is a different critter altogether.  We eat a lot of chile out here. Roasting chile signals the end of summer growing season even more than the sound of folks checking their rifle sights. Either green or red chile is part of most meals in some manner. Getting both green and red on a plate is called  "Christmas" as in a "huevos rancheros, Christmas" order in a restaurant. Capsacian content runs from Gringo Mild to 4 Alarm all the way to 911. It's a good idea to ask for a small taste before ordering. A lot of restaurants have that notice on the menu. 

The nutritional profile is good for chile. I eat gringo mild red pretty much every day on way or another.

 When does soup become stew, good question, IMHO it depends on several considerations, where you reside for instance, up here in the great north east the more ingredients you put into it (think dense) may turn it into stew, adding some thickener to the broth turns soup into stew, stick it into a blender and it becomes a soup puree, and lets not forget Chowders, Bisques, and Gumbos, and I'm sure that there are a few other designations for different basic soups.
 Study on it long enough and it could get your head to hurting, so again IMHO, it's probably best to just call whatever you make whatever suits it when it's done, set it at the table with a healthy chunk of home made crusty bread or  cornbread, grab a bottle of your favorite beer, wine, or whatever, and enjoy.
 For me fall starts the soup season, this year it started early (about two weeks ago), I put the air conditioners away, put down all the storm windows, and put a large pot of water on the stove for home made Chicken Soup, I was taught how to cook by my Mom and Grand Mother, but all the men in the family were good cooks as well, under their guidance I learned to cook by taste rather than follow recipes, so, whatever I cook usually comes out a bit different every time,  but I'm told it's always very good.
 So, I don't pay much attention to measures, I usually add what I think is enough and adjust to taste, sometimes I get carried away with the carrots, onions, celery, rice, and pasta bits and my Chicken Soup becomes Chicken Stew, sometimes I add crushed saltine crackers and some creamed corn and it becomes Chicken Chowder, but no matter what it's named at the time it's always warming for the body and the mind, I guess it doesn't matter much what you call your soup or stew or chowder, it's true Comfort food. 
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline boomer

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Re: Soups and stews
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2022, 07:53:05 AM »
Also cook by taste. Initially learned basic cooking from grandparents after announcing I was hungry. The response was from the "Come on in the kitchen and learn how to cook" culinary school tradition.  Things went the same for other basic skills.

These days I mostly cook outside until serious winter. Our forests have been shut down long enough or in such poor shape outdoor adventure opportunities are limited. Find it works very well for me. A real outdoor kitchen is definitely on the list but that's another topic.