Yup, I did it.  I launched a new blog.  No plans to neglect this one, but where this blog is loosely focused, the next will be almost absurdly focused, solely on stews, soups, and microbrew.  I’ll be sharing our favorite recipes and sources and plugging our favorite matching beers.  The brew aspect will likely be fewer and farther between based on our current budget, but still an important component of my very favorite meal, a hearty bowl of stew and a 1/2 liter of nice, hoppy beer.

My love for stew is multi-faceted.  There is the warm and cozy feeling it gives me – the way it communicates love and alludes to hours of smells developed in the kitchen.  The fact that I feel connected to history and the world-over by eating from a bowl and making food stretch, the way people have for centuries.

There is also the health factor.  It’s hard to overeat on soup, because of the liquid.  The human stomach is designed to hold a lot of food.  This is because more nutrients come from low calorie vegetation than animal food sources and we need that nutrition.  We crave meat (some would say) because it’s supposed to be more difficult to come by and a boost of fat and protein that is harder to get through nuts and vegetation.  So, onto the scene comes stew, a way to make vegetables especially palatable, develop and infuse pleasing flavors, and stretch meat to what we can afford/accomplish/apply.

Soups and stews are the little black dresses of the culinary world.  They are timeless and easy to dress up or down, suitable for most any occasion.  They make life easier by often creating less mess in the kitchen and lasting for several meals (some are easily frozen for later in the month).  They are easy to make ahead of time for guests.  Nothing has helped Jaron and I eat at home like stew has done.

So, I invite you to check out my inaugural post of one of Jaron’s favorites.  This one is not seasonal (gasp) but easily enjoyed year-round, at least in our house.  It’s a rip-off of the best dish to come out of Carrabba’s, sausage and lentil soup.