Okay, so I was looking through my cupboards and freezer last night trying to figure out what we'll be eating for dinners next week. Being pretty much the end of the month, my grocery money is basically gone - I work with a cash system to help prevent over-spending. Anyway, as I looked through my cupboards, I realized I had plenty of "single" items, but not really enough to add up to much on its own... 1 can of corn, 1/2 a bag of great northern beans, some pinto beans, some black beans, 2/3 box of whole grain pasta, 1-2 cups dried millet, 1/2 an onion, the "crumbs" of some frozen chopped peppers, a few pieces of chicken, 1 cup diced ham, frozen broccoli, frozen canned tomatoes (I buy these in commercial size cans and freeze them when I get home). You get the idea.
I realized that while, individually these weren't really enough on their own, but if you mixed them together, you could have a really tasty, super filling soup. We love soups this time of year anyway, so I figured it couldn't hurt to start cooking and see what I get.
I got out my huge pot and put about 1.5 cups northern beans and 1.5 cups pinto beans in there. I got out a smaller pot and put 1.5 cups black beans in there. (The reason I separated the black beans from the rest is because cooking black beans with other things tends to dye everything a dark greyish color and while it doesn't effect the taste, it can look a bit unappetizing.) I followed the quick soak directions (I added a little baking soda to each pot to speed up the cooking process) for the beans, let them sit, and then did the quick cook. I kept the beans separate for this, as well. I also added about 8 chicken bullion cubes to the large pot.
Once my pinto/northern bean mix was nearly cooked, I added about 1.5 cups of millet. I also added some left over cabbage (I had about 1/4 a head), the onion, the ham, some of the spaghetti (broken up into about 1 inch pieces), the peppers. I strained the black beans and added them. I have fresh basil growing in my kitchen window, so I threw a few leaves of this in the pot (I tore the leaves into smaller pieces).
I opted to hold out on adding the corn, the tomatoes, the chicken, and the broccoli so that if we get tired of the soup as is, I can change it up as the week goes on. But, I sampled it and its really quite good as there are so many different ingredients with so many different flavors.
Anyway, if you're like me and tend to wonder what you are having for dinner as the month draws to a close, look in your cupboards. Chances are, you have more than you think. :)