Stew to soup

December 2, 2009

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Serves 4

You can turn almost any stew, casserole, or braise into a hearty soup. Begin by sauteing an onion in oil, then stirring a seasoning into the oil and cooking it for a minute. This can be cumin or another aromatic spice, a mixture of chopped fresh herbs, chili in adobo sauce, and so on. Soup made from leftovers does not simmer very long since most of the ingredients are already cooked.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, 2 tablespoons chili in adobo sauce, or another seasoning
3 cups cooked cubed meat and vegetables
6cups chicken stock
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 can (15 ounces) white, black, or kidney beans or chick peas
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, thyme, or oregano
1. In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until it softens.

2. Add the cumin, herbs, chili, or other seasoning. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

3. Stir in the meat and vegetables, chicken stock, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and beans or chick peas. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.

4. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley, thyme, or oregano. Sheryl Julian