Comfort Stew

I’ve had a lot going on lately, but one weekend I found myself alone in my apartment with a math set that wouldn’t die, two tests in the next week, and the realization that both my internship this summer and my classes next semester were going to be a whole lot of work. (Surprise!) So I did the rational thing and made stew–er–soup. I’m not quite sure. My process was as follows.

I rummaged through my stock of cans, the refrigerator and the freezer and came up with some pinto beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, some milk, some frozen mixed vegetables, and a third of a bag of tater tots. I also found some dried out onion in the fridge and some onions on top of the fridge which I couldn’t remember whose they were, but it looked safe to eat neither. I poured the tomatoes and beans into a pot together. Oh, look, chili! I decided I really liked tomatoes. I poured in the rest of the dry ingredients. It looked less like a soup or a stew, and more like a Heap of Things in a Pot. Which is what it was. So I added the tomato sauce and used my milk to clean out the tomato sauce can before adding it. (The milk that is, not the can.) I looked at the results.

Some time ago my suitemate was watching this cooking show called Chopped. It followed the basic premise that the contestants were chefs in a weird world were they had twenty minutes to cook something appetizing with ingredients so random one wondered whether anyone had gone shopping for this segment or whether the contents of all the studio’s mini-fridges had been pooled. It was obviously a simulation of college cookery. The show was unlike college cookery in that the servings were smaller than what I’d feed a cat, and, like cats, the judges wouldn’t eat anything they thought looked less than perfect. This soup was not perfect.

Some people look for a strong hearty red color in their soups or sometimes a sweet and savory orange. This soup was pink. (Note to self: too much milk.) The judges from Chopped could probably come up with some very apt and unsavory descriptions of its color. But, being neither a cat nor a judge, but a college student, I ate it anyway. It was delicious.


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