Friday, January 27, 2012

Slumgullion (Hobo or camp stew)

Slumgullion - it's such a fun word.  When I was a child it described any concoction that used leftovers, canned goods, and whatever came out of garden mixed in one big pot so there would be enough for everybody.  I still use the term for a thick hearty no so beany soup that's fast and easy.

Like almost all soups Slumgullion starts with chopped onions and garlic.  After that it depends on what's leftover and what's in season.  You need a starch, vegetables, and some protein.  You use beans so you need less starch and less protein.  Certain fresh vegetables, like green peas, are fragile and should go in only minutes before serving to keep their flavor and texture.  Pastas can be boiled separately and added at serving time or added late in the cooking to prevent mushiness.

When using rice I like to add it first so that it gets toasted a bit first.  I don't know how well this works with white rice since I haven't used anything but brown or wild rice in years.  I do know that it shortens the cooking time a bit for brown rice and improves the flavor.

Since canned soup and canned beans are often the base of this soup season lightly.  Salt usually doesn't need to be added.  Hot sauce, lime juice, fresh cilantro and other boosters can be added by the diners.

Basic Slumgullion:
1 large onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
(2 ribs celery, chopped )
(1 bell pepper, diced)
1 cup (brown) rice
2 10 oz. cans cream of tomato soup + 3 cans water  (pick any flavor cream soup for other ingredients)
2  15 oz cans  Nalley Original Chili with Beans (Our personal favorite brand - you can use your favorite or just plain beans or Chili flavored beans)
1 14 oz bag C & W Ultimate Southwest Blend (Our favorite brand - use your favorite blend)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

In 8 quart pot that has a lid, heat oil over medium high heat add  rice stir to coat with oil.  Add the fresh chopped vegetables and stir, fry, sweat, just until the onion is a bit limp.  Dump in everything else stir well bring to a boil.  COVER! Reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer until rice is done - 15 minutes white rice, 30 - 45 minutes brown rice.
about 8  1 cup servings -using the (vegetables) will increase the yield.

replace the rice with 8 oz small pasta - not spaghetti or linguine. do not fry add to boiling soup serve when pasta is al dente about 10 minutes.

replace the rice with 3 or 4 medium potatoes or 1 or 2 large yams (orange sweet potatoes), 1/2 in dice add with water and other ingredients bring soup to boil simmer until potatoes are tender about 10 minutes.

replace chili and SW Blend with 4 -8 oz chopped  cooked meat, 1 15 oz can plain beans, and 4 cups fresh or frozen vegetables - season as needed.  (Example: Leftover pork, white beans,  Mixed vegetables, seasoned with black pepper, pinch ground ginger)

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