Beggar’s Stew

Beggar's Stew

Years and years ago I stumbled across a recipe for a soup called “Beggar’s Stew”. I think it was while we were still in Alabama so that was over ten years ago. It was in one of those little slow cooker magazines that are usually stationed in the checkout isles at the grocery store.

Over the years I had planned to try it, but just never got around to actually making the soup. Most of the ingredients stuck in my head however…Yes I remember trivial bits of information that I should have long since been forgotten…You don’t? ;oP

As I recall this soup had a creamed soup in it, but I decided that was over kill. Don’t get me wrong, I do use cream of soups from time to time (and here’s a shocker…I even like Velveeta once in a blue moon! ;oP) but this just didn’t need it given the recipe also called for heavy cream. I decided to lighten up the cream with the fat free half and half as you’ll see below. I love half and half because it gives you that essence of cream, without all the fat! Especially if you can find the fat free version, it makes it all the more fabulous without as much of the guilt!

I also don’t remember the exact vegetables other than diced tomatoes, onion and mushrooms, but decided to use some that I’m fond of to round out the soup. I know there was thyme, so I decided to go with a very healthy dose of that particular herb. I believe the recipe originally called for turkey, but I’ve wanted to try ground chicken for a while so I decided to make it a bit simpler. Overall everything came together well and this most definitely is on the “Let’s make it again!” list!

What You’ll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried thyme (Note: I actually prefer dried thyme to fresh. Fresh is good, but drying thyme just makes such a lovely concentrated flavor. I feel the same way about basil as well, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment. ;op)
1 leek, chopped
1 large carrot, cut into little cubes
4 ounces of cremini mushroom, slices
4 ounces of button mushroom, slices
2 quarts of chicken broth (Note: I make my own most of the time, but you can use the store bought variety.)
1 – 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 – 16 ounce package of frozen corn
1 – 10 ounce package of frozen Lima beans
1 pint of fat free half and half (Note: If you can’t find fat free, regular half and half would be fine, or you could go all out and even use heavy cream if you preferred.)

In a large stock pot sauté onion with the ground chicken in a little olive oil (not more than a tablespoon tops) with sea salt, black pepper and thyme. When chicken is done through add leek, mushrooms and carrots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in chicken broth and can of diced tomatoes and stir. Add frozen vegetables and bring mixture to a quick boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Once carrots are tender add half and half and stir to mix. Cook for 10 minutes to heat through and serve.

Beggar's Stew: Up Close

Notes: As always you can mix up soup any way you like. You could use different vegetables. You could throw in some diced potato. You could leave out the meat. You could add in other herbs. It’s all a matter of personal taste.

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