Full Belly Stew

I've really been enjoying the recipes in the Full Belly Archive so I thought I would contribute one of my own. This one takes a long time to gather and prep the ingredients but it's worth it. This soup is my absolute favorite behind old fashioned chicken noodle. It’s full of all the joys of the summer bounty and freezes well for a fast hot supper on chilly summer evenings. The recipe below is a template, I make it a little differently each time depending on what’s at the farmer’s market and what I have around the house. The corn, cabbage and potatoes and peas or green beans are important to maintain the character of the stew and the rest can be varied. I like to make a huge pot around harvest time when I can still get corn but winter squash is first appearing at the market. I freeze it in single servings and enjoy all winter. Use more or less of anything depending on what you’ve got, you can even out the spices and liquid at the end. The parenthesis indicate some notes on my favorites but feel free to experiment.
ingredients

1 lb lamb w/bones (the most economical and quite delicious is 1 or 2 lamb necks)

Large Stock Pot

Water

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic

2 medium tomatoes (or leave them and hot pepper out at this stage and add some Primavera roasted tomato salsa at the end)

1 jalapeno or some cayenne pepper to taste

1 tsp ground cumin

1 TBL dried oregano (Rancho Gordo mexican oregano is a good choice)

2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 small head green cabbage, chopped

4-6 small potatoes (yukon, red and german butterball are good)

1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed

3 ears fresh corn kernels or 1 cup frozen

a few carrots, diced

a few handfuls of green beans, chopped in 1/2 in pieces

1 small winter squash, chopped bite sized chunks

1 cup fresh shelling peas or 1 cup frozen 1 summer squash (a nice firm light green zucchini is nice)

1 small bunch cilantro

1 small bunch mint

instructions

Put the lamb in a stock pot and cover with water, bring to a boil then simmer several hours until meat is tender. Remove meat from pot and cool, then pick meat from bones.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes and chili peppers and saute for 10 minutes.

Stir in spices and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add this mixture to the lamb stock Add quinoa, hard squash, carrots and potatoes and simmer about 20 min.

Add remaining veggies (except mint and cilantro) and cook until tender.

Correct seasoning with salt and pepper and add hot water if soup needs to be thinned.

Turn off heat then stir in mint and cilantro.

meal or course
soup