This week, I’ve felt a little off. Motivation is lacking, it’s been cloudy, and overall I’m just a little blue. I love homemade food on those days, and Tuesday I threw together a slow cooker soup that really turned my day around.
I opened my pantry, too a look around, and sighed. I didn’t have any meat thawed. I had celery on the verge of going bad, and I really wanted something fresh and comforting. I grabbed cans of black beans, corn, and crushed tomato and tapped my foot while I decided how to utilize them.
Stocking a Pantry
Since the move, I’ve been diligent to not idly buy food to “stock” the pantry. There were cans that sat in our old apartment for years without being used, which is absolutely not acceptable to me. I try to purchase only what I know we’ll use. I usually keep some canned beans and tomatoes in my pantry, just in case, but I don’t like them to sit there for long before I find a use for them.
So, I pulled out my Crock Pot, added a couple of frozen chicken breasts, the canned veggies, and some random fresh ingredients I had in my refrigerator. About 4.5 hours later, my mystery soup was finished and it filled our home with a familiar scent.
One of the traits I admired so much about my mom was her sense of wisdom in the kitchen. Some of the best meals were on-the-fly “what do I have in the kitchen” kind of meals. She was resourceful and creative. I felt close to her on Tuesday, throwing random ingredients into my Crock Pot cauldron. Stopping every couple of hours to gently lift the lid and take in the aroma. Peace and comfort come to mind.
I didn’t take any photos of the preparation because I really had no intention of putting this recipe on the blog while it was coming together. As I sat with a spoonful of goodness in hand, I was reminded of the little things that make me my mother’s daughter: the joy I get from birds at my feeder, my desire to be a cheerleader to those I love, and my happy place in the kitchen.
I treasure all the memories huddled around a boiling pot, a sizzling pan, a warm oven… I’m thankful for them, and I know those experiences with my mom are the ones that help me create on-the-fly “what do I have in the kitchen” meals.
- Chicken breasts (I used 2, you can use more if needed)
- a few stalks of celery (chopped)
- 4 carrots (chopped)
- 1 yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can corn
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- 3 TBS tomato paste
- A pinch of Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Package of Bowtie Pasta (as much as you want)
- Once finished, I pulled the chicken out, shredded it, and put it back in the soup.
- Combine chicken breasts with ingredients, excluding bowtie pasta.
- Cook on high for 4 hours.
- Add the bowtie pasta and enough water to cover.
- Wait approximately 30 minutes for pasta to cook.
- Remove chicken, shred, and add back to the soup.
- Scoop and serve!
Save it for Later