Wingin’ It

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Since it’s bon voyage beginning tomorrow, the last week or two have pretty much been “use up whatever we have” meals. With this in mind, I had been planning our meals based on the pantry ingredients we had on hand and the last day or two have been pretty slim pickings.

This afternoon, I set out to make my tomato bisque soup. I had some basil growing outside that I wanted to use and I thought that I had everything I needed so I got the veggies started on the stove and I went about gathering the other ingredients. I had almost every assembled on the counter top when I opened the pantry to grab a can of fire-roasted tomatoes…

and came up empty. Crap. I quickly scanned my mental recipe file and just as quickly realized that I didn’t have the complete ingredients for any single meal that I’d previously made. Wonderful. I looked to see what I did have on hand and this is what I found:

1 can navy beans, 1 can kidney beans, 1 quart veggie broth, ditalini pasta and of course, my dried spices.

With a ton of carrots, celery and onions fully sauted and ready to go, I threw in the two cans of beans, the quart of broth, 2 bay leaves and 1 teaspoon each of basil, salt, pepper and oregano. I cross my fingers and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

When I stirred it, I thought that it could stand to be a little thicker (most vegetable soups use potatoes or cream as a thickening agent) and remembering my beloved pasta fagioli soup, I threw in half a cup of ditalini pasta and let it cook for another 15 minutes.

Once it was done, I took a very careful sip knowing that some things that should work in theory don’t always turn out well.

You know what? I loved it! I threw on some grated parmesan cheese and it was fantastic. When the Irishman came home for lunch, he complemented the new recipe. I snickered on the inside knowing the furious cabinet-digging that had transpired only an hour before as I desperately searched for a solution.

In all reality, this is how recipes are made. You take what you have and you throw it together hoping for the best. In instances like these, it works. Even when it doesn’t always work out like you intended, it doesn’t mean that you didn’t learn something from it. Did you know that chocolate chip cookies were a mistake? The creater threw in chocolate chips wanting to make a chocolate sugar cookie, but the chips didn’t melt like she thought they would. Well, she ate them anyway and the chocolate chip cookie was born. True story. And now I want cookies.

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