This is a fall and winter brown bag lunch, as it just doesn't lend itself well to the summertime, and it depends on a pot roast to get it started. In the past, when I was cooking for a bigger family, I'd save leftover vegetables of all sorts in a large plastic container in the freezer until it got full, and use those in soup; today, I will usually use a bag or two of frozen mixed vegetables. I have been known to throw in a Parmigiano rind if I had one on hand. All measurements are approximates, as I have never measured anything for this, but it makes a great soup that freezes well; I freeze it in serving-sized containers and take one for lunch, warming it in the microwave while I make myself a piece of cheese toast in the toaster oven at the office. Hard to beat! —Kayb
12 or so
leftover meat and vegetables from pot roast
assorted mixed vegetables, or two bags frozen
15-oz cans petite diced tomatos
15-oz can tomato sauce
cloves garlic, minced
fresh rosemary, chopped
Pick-a-Peppa hot sauce (or your favorite)
In a large stock pot, saute minced shallot and garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add tomatos, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, rosemary and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
Dice leftovers from pot roast. Cut roast and onions into about one-inch dice, potatos and carrots into slightly larger. Add to simmering tomatos. If there is any jus left from the roast, add that too, but discard any fat risen to the top.
If using frozen leftover veggies, defrost them and add them. If using frozen mixed veggies, thaw and add. Simmer for an hour.
Taste, and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer at least another hour, or all day, as you choose. If you are really ambitious, make homemade bread.
I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!