This can ultimately be one of those "everything but the kitchen sink" type of recipes. Got left over broccoli in the fridge? Throw it in. Got some left over asparagus? Throw it in. Need to use up a few slices of bacon? Crisp it up in the pan and then cook your veggies in the pan drippings. *drool* We had carrots, celery, spinach, and turkey. Yep, this was my turkey RE-DO recipe. This recipe really isn't much different than this one. But it is. I find that this one is more versatile - and does particularly well with beef. That is, if you ever have any left over beef. *RAWR* Beef is such a rarity in this house that there is seldom any left over. Oh, and it's thicker. Soup is good for the fall, but once the snow flies and the crisp air is replaced with a biting bitterness that just chills you right down to the bone - I want stew. Stew so thick that you can put a wooden spoon vertical in the pot, let go, and it stands there. Ok, well, that's a wee bit extreme, but I think you get what I'm trying to say.
Also, I just wanted to say, that I'm really only giving you a base recipe. Some of you might wonder why some of my recopies are so bland or they do not always have the typical base ingredients. For example, someone asked me about adding onions. My answer? Sure! Go ahead - add in a small to medium onion. I typically don't have onions in my recipes, because I don't like onions, but that doesn't mean you can't add them in. Secondly, I've been asked about the blandness. Madaline tends to eat best if I keep the food fairly simple and lightly seasoned. I think it has a lot to do with her reflux - so I tend to not add much seasoning other than salt and pepper. But, sometimes, just sometimes, I allow myself the extra indulgence and add in some herbs and spice. This stew would be great with a palm full of poultry seasoning. Herbs de provence would be lovely here as well (with either chicken or turkey). Get adventurous - check out the spice isle of our local grocery store - the seasoning blends are fantastic - play with your seasonings make it yours. You are not going to hurt my feelings.
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
1/4 cup butter
Salt, Pepper and seasoning you'd like, to taste
1/4 cup flour
5 - 6 cups of stock (veggie/chicken/beef)
2-3 cups cooked & shredded leftover meat (chicken/turkey/beef**)
1 pkg frozen tortellini
1 bag frozen mixed veggie (I buy the green bean, pea and corn blend)
1 6oz bag of baby spinach
Melt your butter in a large heavy bottomed dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add your carrots, celery (onion *shudder* if you like) and cook 7-12 minutes until they just are starting to get soft. Add 1/4 cup of flour to cooked veggie mixture. Stir and cook about 3 minutes to remove raw flour taste. Slowly wisk in 5 - 6 cups of stock, making sure you have no lumps of flour left. Add in your leftover cooked meat, turn heat to high and bring to a bubbling boil. As your stew boils, it will start to thicken. If it thickens too quickly on you, then add in some more stock. Once your meat is heated thru, gently stir in frozen veggies & tortellini, bring bring back to a gentle boil and cook until the tortellini are tender. Stir in spinach, cover and let simmer just long enough for spinach to wilt into the stew. Give it one last good stir and serve.
*If you do make this with beef, leave out the tortellini & cook up a bag of egg noodles on the side. Put your cooked and slightly buttered & salted egg noodles in a bowl first and then ladle the beef stew mixture over the top.