On cool days soup warms the soul.
While leafing through Food Network Magazine, a stew recipe caught my eye. It sounded so yummy and delicious I knew I had to make it. Immediately. Problems: 1) it was for a slow-cooker and it was already noon—no time for dried beans to cook; 2) I needed to run to the store to get more ingredients; 3) I wanted pasta with the soup; and 4) my local grocery store has never carried Swiss chard.
Hum… Time is a-wasting… Aha! I decided that I could still use the slow cooker, but I would improvise the ingredients. The biggest bonus is that I could wait until 3:00 p.m. to put everything in the slow-cooker. Dinner was ready by 6:00. The original recipe can be found here: Slow-Cooker Squash Stew and my changes are: 1) I used two cans of cooked chick peas, drained and rinsed; 2) I used kale instead of Swiss chard; 3) I also used celery; 4) I roasted the squash, celery and onions for 25 minutes prior to putting the soup together; 5) I used chicken stock instead of water; and 6) Prior to serving I put in cooked cheese tortellini. Everything else in the original recipe I kept the same.
The soup was simply a perfect ending to a perfect cool fall day.