One of my favorite comfort foods is anything my Mom cooks. Ha – okay, I’ll narrow it down a bit further. She makes great soups and my favorite is called Pantry Soup. Growing up, we never ate the same Pantry Soup twice. The saying went, “Whatever’s in the pantry goes in the soup.” I have great memories of pulling out cans from the shelves and hoping there’d be a bag of alphabet noodles for an extra fun pot.
Fast forward to my sophomore year in college where I was out of the dorms and fending for myself in the kitchen. My pantry was pretty bare being a college student, and I believe I only had a box of Cheerios inside. I had to call my Mom and hold back giggles asking for a recipe for Pantry Soup. This is a dish I’ve cooked for any roommate during my college days, and my now for my family. Although posting this recipe goes against the idea of pulling out cans of whatever’s in your pantry, I thought I’d share since it’s a big request among my friends. Of course, add or subtract whatever you have stashed inside your pantry. That’s the fun of this dish!
Mom’s Pantry Soup
4 cans beef broth (14 oz. size)
4 cans water (once you open and pour out beef broth, use one of these cans and fill with water. Whatever broth you put in, use the same amount of water.)
1 can chili
1 large can kidney beans rinsed
2 cans corn
3/4 cup barley
1/2 bag of alphabet noodles
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup shell or elbow noodles
1 lb of extra lean ground beef
Put broth, water, chili, kidney beans, corn, barley, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce in pot and bring to a gentle boil for 15 minutes. Add noodles and cook for 20 minutes. This is a good place to check fluid if you’re not really measuring how many noodles or barley you’ve put in and can always add more water at this point. Roll the ground beef into meatballs and add to your pot. Boil gently for 10 minutes and enjoy!
I really want to call this the best breakfast ever, but let’s be honest – an iced coffee and sprinkle donut are my clear winners for first place. Let’s call it my second favorite breakfast or the best egg breakfast!
What you’ll need
hearty sourdough bread for toasting – my favorite is Acme Bread Company’s sour batard
dash of cumin
splash of lemon
sprinkle of truffle salt
sprig of cilantro
I love cooking and as you might tell with my slightly ambiguous measurements above, create my own dishes from time to time! Nothing is perfectly measured, but it’s the cumin that brings everything together!
Slice up your sour batard, and toast while you fry or poach your egg. I enjoy a slightly runny egg with this dish since toasted sourdough is so hearty. Once the bread is done, scoop out the avocado and place it on your toast. Sprinkle cumin, and add lemon juice and egg once it’s finished cooking. I add truffle salt after cooking my egg, but you can do plain ol’ salt and pepper as you’re cooking if you’d like and finish with the cilantro.
a window washer
a wet nurse
a chef de cuisine
a swim instructor
a dance teacher
a tickle monster
a swing pusher
This list could be revised each day and never ending, but I think you get the point. I am asked constantly about what I actually do as a stay at home Mom. The best responses come from people who haven’t had kids – “Well, how fun for you to get to play all day and not have to work!” While it’s true that I do play, I also set up each craft, game, puzzle, meal, and any trip we take during the day. My goal in life was to become a mother, and I thank God every day for the blessing of a son and daughter.
This is the first moment I had Patrick placed in my arms. Note the lights are still bright which means someone under the picture is busy stitching me up. I was incredibly tired after 26 hours of labor and have no strength left to open my eyes. Yet my heart is full of love that I’ve never thought possible and any thought of pain or feeling uncomfortable has vanished at this point in time. Patrick grabbed my finger and I was instantly in love with him even more.
The next picture me holding Alice for the first time. Classic me – no makeup, just joy. The grin from ear to ear shows how happy I am that 13 hours of labor are now behind me.
A quote from Gretchen Rubin sums up my life right now quite perfectly. “The days are long, but the years are short.” Alice and Patrick keep me on my toes every day and the amount of love I receive is the richest payment of all.