This is not the dinner I had planned to cook tonight, but when the D.C. area was suddenly hit with a major snow event today, I decided that a comforting stew was in order. So, I searched through what was available in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry—carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, turnips, a small amount of ground beef, canned tomatoes, garlic, beef stock, and some leftover braised cabbage. I cut all of the vegetables into large chunks and heated them in a bit of olive oil before adding the rest of the ingredients, and let everything simmer very gently on the back of the stove until the vegetable components were just fork tender. To my mind a true stew
requires that the finished dish should be “chunky” in nature and the vegetables,
in particular, should not have been cooked into a mushy texture.

I made some Irish soda bread which included whole wheat flour to accompany the
soup.

And for a sweet ending, the simplicity of a small wedge of milk chocolate was
satisfying.

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