Pantry Soup

“Pantry Soup” sounds better than “Pandemic Soup,” don’t you think? This cabbage bean combo fits the emergency-preparedness bill because most of the ingredients can be found in the well-stocked larder. Also, it relies on root vegetables which can sit on the counter for weeks.

Pantry Soup / Serves 2

1/2 onion, diced

small wedge of cabbage cut into ribbons

couple of potatoes diced

14 oz can of diced tomatoes, w/liquid

14 oz can of beans (I used cannellini)

2 T of powdered chicken broth / 4 c water

2 T of miso*

2 disks of jalapeños

Sauté onion and cabbage. Throw everything else in except the miso, save that for the end. Bring to low boil and cook until potatoes are done, about 20 minutes. Remove a little broth into a bowl and soften the miso in it and then dump back in.

Salt and pepper.


Hearty and satisfying. I don’t know about you, but I almost always have onion, potatoes, and cabbage in the house. Cans of tomatoes and beans and miso are staples, always to hand. If it had been a week that I’d been out and about, I would have finished with a pretty handful of chopped parsley.

I know I’m near heathy because I found myself at the grocery store before 7. Not quite a dawn run but close. The 22 degree air braced and refreshed.

Sign of the times: no Purell; no disinfectant wipes; dried beans very picked over.

I did manage to get some bleach and Lysol spray, plus TP and paper towels even though we have some. Also: a big jar of Tylenol.

These poor lonesome Yukon Golds looked like they were waiting for something — maybe to have their picture taken?

I felt a little strange stocking up so heartily when I already have a pantry that could feed us for weeks, but then I realized that my exuberant shop had more to do with being confined to the house most of the week than with fears about pandemics.

Also: can you say The Great British Baking Show? It was my greatest balm this week and I am gonna bake bread even though I’ve only done so twice in my life and technically I don’t eat gluten.

Thank you for all you insightful and kind comments yesterday. I haven’t quite finished responding there, but wanted Michelle to know that even though I did read Twitter upon waking (instead of smiling and gently stretching), the podcast I chose for my errand this morning was Ezra Klein interviewing former poet laureate Tracy K. Smith and NOT my usual political fare.

* thanks to my chef friend, Elizabeth Germain, for the miso master stroke. I happened to be talking to her on the phone while tasting the soup. It was a little bland. She said blonde miso would’ve blended in better but I only had dark and it was yummy.

PS if you double the recipe to serve 4, don’t double the miso.

20 thoughts on “Pantry Soup

  1. ravenandsparrow

    I must be hungry…your soup makes me want to lick the screen. The four potatoes waiting for their close-up provoked outright laughter, so thank you. I, too, turn to the Great British Baking Show for consolation, and I enjoyed Ezra Klein’s poetry podcast. I am trying not to obsessively scroll my newsfeed and turn to more philosophical stuff when I can. I especially like On Being, with Krista Tippett. I am glad you are feeling better.

  2. Joanne

    Good Soup. Being from Eastern Europe by only 2 generations I adore cabbage in all it’s forms but with potatoes and tomatoes- yum!!! Austria Hungary is East? Yes- No???? did not know to not cook the miso. Now to find some. Daughter wants me to do Pandemic Shopping and now I know what to get. Toilet paper and Kleenex was on the list. and I thought Dayquil and the one for night time. Now I need to add soup supplies.

      1. Nanette

        Yes, I understood why, it just shook me a bit…..we’re not talking pandemic here ….Aus…. yet, and I live in a small country town, where it feels we’re isolated from it all……at least, I am with the lifestyle I choose. But I stockpile similar items in readiness for floods and being isolated by water for days.

  3. Patty M

    That type of soup (love the name) always satisfies. I thought I was pretty much the only
    person who never misses Great British Baking. I hope tonight brings on a new batch of

  4. Tina

    Thanks for this recipe .. sounds good. I heard on the news that a pack of hand sanitizers on Amazon are going for an all time high .. terrible!!
    I haven’t even thought about stocking up on stuff .. maybe I better start. Also the stock market .. it’s all frustratingly crazy.

  5. Michelle Slater

    Good soup is always a bonus for the body. I figure, whatever works for your needs is best practice. Consciousness is the key. I wasn’t able to access the Tracy K. Smith interview via your link, but she’s a fine substitute for the usual obsessive political fare…Meanwhile I accessed this

  6. Liz A

    soup … nothing better

    and every time I hear someone on TV worrying over the oncoming epidemic I can’t help intone, “as if we didn’t already have a gun violence epidemic … where is the panic over that?”

    I know, I know … preaching to the choir


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