I think my pantry-purge has been going the wrong way. I am no longer accumulating new esoteric ingredients but I struggled with whether or not to replenish my staples. Could I live without chickpeas for a few months? Absolutely not. Miso? I replenished that, too. What about olives? I think I could manage olive-free for 6 months. Artichokes? Well, the best artichokes come from the freezer case at Trader Joe’s so I am excited to wait for those. The plan for now: use up the less-loved ingredients. The ones I can part with for a bit of time.
Now I can strike these from my pantry: artichokes and olives. What could have been a boring vegetable stew was helped with said pantry items. Olives add the salty punch to this spring-like tomato stew with red pepper, mushrooms, artichokes and spinach.
Sometimes I have limited enthusiasm for ingredients that have been stashed at the back of my pantry. Or I only have a limited repertoire for said ingredient. Olives and artichokes are not that wacky, but I am looking for ways to use fun things like kelp noodles, capers, jackfruit, assorted flours (chickpea flour is our staple but I still have some coconut flour, tapioca flour, rice flours and vital wheat gluten), puffed quinoa, dried fruits and nuts. And let’s not forget the things in my freezer: herbs, chopped veggies and fruits, tempeh, and frozen meals ready to go.
Do you have a big pantry or have a select collection of favourite ingredients in your pantry? I personally believe that a well-stocked kitchen makes for a well-prepared cook. It makes cooking easier and fun.
This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, Little Thumbs Up event, hosted by Joyce, kitchen flavours, organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen for my little favourite D.I.Y..
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1 cup mushrooms (I used 70g enoki mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped), optional
1 large red pepper, chopped
5 oz tomato paste (1 can)
4 cups water or bean cooking liquid, or more if you want a thinner soup
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 bunch spinach, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
14 oz can artichokes hearts (I used marinated artichoke hearts, although next time I would chop them smaller)
salt, or to taste
1. In a medium pan over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add onion and saute for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, around 2 minutes. Stir in herbs, chickpeas, mushrooms and red pepper, making sure they do not stick to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened.
2. Stir in the tomato paste and water/broth. Bring to a boil, decrease heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, partially covered. Stir in the olives and spinach and cover once more. Allow the spinach to wilt from the heat of the soup, approximately 3 minutes. Season to taste.