Today was ‘freezing’. It must have dropped to 68 degrees. That’s in Hawaii. I read where it was minus 30 in Madison, Wisconsin, with a high of minus 3.

We don’t have heaters in Hawaii. I turned the oven on to 400, opened the door and it helped to warm up the kitchen. I decided to make a big pot of soup.

A few days ago, I made some spaghetti sauce and had a leftover jar of that in the fridge. That became my ‘base’. Last night I made some beef stew and had some of that left over. I put the two together and added a few more items.

First about three cups of water, to make it more like soup than sauce. The spaghetti sauce was mostly tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Of course onions and garlic. The stew was mostly potatoes and carrots and a little meat, of course. The base had some ‘better than boulion’ in it.

Now I added a bunch of chopped up mushrooms, a few handfuls of spinach leaves, two handfuls of kale and a bunch of chopped up parsley.

Looking around my kitchen I found a can of kidney beans and a bag of barley. I rinsed the beans and added them, and then threw in about half a cup of washed barley.

I boiled this all for about an hour and a half and when I tasted it, I thought it was a little bland. So I added some thyme, salt, sugar and some chopped up green pepper.

Now it was delicious. I cooked it another hour and then had a huge helping over rice. Perfect for a cold winter’s day in Hawaii.

Next time you feel like some hearty soup, it is so much nicer to make it yourself, rather than just opening a can. If you read about the high sodium content in a can of soup, you may never have canned vegetable soup again. Plus it is a great way to use up all those veggies.