"Stone" Soup and a Bit of Tart

It's been one of those seasons when everything seems to hit at once: medical situation, car needing to be fixed, unexpected bills, you name it, it's happened! :-) As a result, this week I was left to plan meals with only what I had on hand. I confess I got a little panicky, wondering how on earth I'd be able to stretch everything, but somehow it all worked out. After my initial AAAH!!! - I've been having a grand time experimenting, seeing what marvy things I can make from bits of this and that. :-)

Soup is always a winner in such circumstances and thankfully I had some broth - chicken and beef. Rummaging around in my fridge I also found a 1/2 bunch of kale, two potatoes, a bit of celery, an onion and, from the pantry, a handful of barley.

I sauteed the onion and celery in a skiff of vegetable oil, adding in the kale after a few minutes. When the kale was nice and wilted I covered the lot with the two different broths. Admittedly, the mixed broth was an accident, but it tasted fantastic! :-)

When the broth began to boil I added in the potatoes and barley and simmered everything together until it was a dense stew with a good, strong broth. Rather nervously I tasted a spoonful and was delighted to find that it was delicious! I downed a bowl then and there and was so pleased to have something yummy and nourishing for the days ahead. :-)

On the weekend my friend Kat came over for dinner - I made garlicky mashed potatoes and she brought a gorgeous roast that we stuffed with garlic and rosemary and slow-cooked in wine and bay leaves for a couple of hours.

When she insisted I keep the leftovers I was thrilled to bits, especially when I found a jar of roasted red peppers and a can of artichoke hearts in my pantry.

I mixed them together with the roast beef, some dry mustard, two eggs and a bit of cream and made a savory tart with a whole grain herbed crust.

I've learned some good lessons through all this:

1 - Necessity really is the mother of invention.

2 - Always keep basics on hand. You never know when you might need them. :-)

Happy eating, dear ones! :-)

Kale Potato Soup

2 potatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 bunch kale, chopped fine
1/2 cup barley
6 cups broth

Saute onion, celery and potato in bit of vegetable oil until onion and celery are clear, add kale and cook until leaves are glossy and wilted. Cover with broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Add barley and simmer another 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Roast Beef Tart with Roasted Peppers

1 9-inch par-baked tart crust (use 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom)
1 cup cubed roast beef
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 jar roasted bell peppers, drained
2 eggs
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp-1 tsp dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl combine eggs, cream, dry mustard, salt and pepper, stir until well-mixed. Add beef, artichoke hearts and peppers, stir gently until coated. Pour into par-baked tart crust and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes until filling is set. Serve cold or warm.


  1. Some of the best meals happen this way. I'm so glad you found a bounty hiding out in your kitchen. It was just there...waiting for you. :)

  2. Me too! Who knew what treasures awaited me, eh? :-)

  3. This blog post is proof that simple is best. I am always amazed at what can be created with just a few ingredients on hand. You did awesome!!!

  4. Oh wow...what a week. I am glad you braced up and made the best of it. What a blessing friends are...and long forgotten pantry treasures? Love the photos of the rosemary poked meat...and the artichoke tart looks gorgeous. I hope the car and health and all else are getting the fix they need. Stay blessed, Oz

  5. Oh, thank you, Velva! :-) It's funny how pleased I get making something out of "nothing" :-) PS - I just found your blog and LOVE it! :-)

  6. Thank you so much, Oz. :-) Car will make it until next paycheck I'm told (fingers crossed!) and health is getting better - hooray! :-) Every little step forward is something to celebrate. :-)

  7. what fantastic recipes, thanks for sharing! I often make "meals" from leftovers that are turned into one big omelet.

  8. That sounds really good too, Hila! I will definitely have to try getting creative with omelets. :-)

  9. tomorrow i'm making the barley soup (i have collards and barley on hand) and the next time i make a roast - the tart will definitely get the leftovers. LOVE TARTS!! i love the creative zone you're developing out of times of need. VERY helpful for me right now.

  10. Ohhh girl, that soup sounds SO marvelous! I'm so glad my cheap eats are helpful. I just paid bills this morning and yipes! :-) I envision lots of beans and lentils in my near future. :-)