Wikipedia says Americans consume approximately 2.5 billion bowls of Campbell’s canned Tomato, Cream of mushroom, and Chicken Noodle Soup each year.

I have to ask “Why?”

Perhaps it’s because they never tasted really delicious homemade soup or stew?

My mission, if I choose to accept it, is to share my best soup and stew recipes so canned-soup addicts can wean themselves off the cans.

Will it work?

The proof is in the pot, yes?

Ditch the canned soups!

Jodi’s Old-Fashioned Winter Stew

  • 1 lb. lean stew meat
  • Flour
  • Grape-seed oil, or your choice of cooking oil
  • 5 or 6 small peeled potatoes
  • 1 lg. peeled turnip, diced
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • Corn from 2 fresh ears of corn, or 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can green peas, drained
  • 1 lg. peeled, sliced thin carrot
  • 1 lg. stalk celery + leaves if desired.
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes and peppers (hot or mild, depending on your personal heat-index register)
  • 1 Tbls. Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbls. coarse-ground black pepper
  • Beef or chicken broth
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper as desired

Prepare vegetables and other ingredients and set aside. Put stew meat in a plastic bag with enough flour to coat well, also adding light salt and liberal amounts of pepper to the flour. Shake and add to hot oil (enough to cover bottom of the pot and keep meat from sticking) in a stew pot. Brown the meat lightly on all sides over medium heat, stirring almost constantly.

Remove pot from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. The broth and water ration I use is 2/3 broth and 1 /3 water. Turnips and carrots are denser than potatoes, so I dice and slice them quite small. The potatoes are medium chunks.

Your uncooked stew should be a couple of inches from the top of the pot when assembled. When the mixture comes to a low boil, cover partially, not tightly. Stir often until all ingredients are cooked through. The meat should be tender, but slightly chewy. Why? Because that’s the nature of stew meat. Just make sure you bury a good-quality meat and that it’s lean. The broth will be quite thick and rich. Season to taste as the stew simmers.

Cooking times for stew vary, but it doesn’t take long.

 Comment: Delicious served with homemade cornbread.

Comment:  I’ve never had anyone turn up his/her nose at this hearty stew.

Comment: I have also made this stew with seasoned, cooked hamburger meat crumbled into clumps and added after the vegetables and broth are done. It’s good, too!

The Christmas Season is a grand time for a bowl of Jodi’s Winter Stew





Dish it up, and they’ll come a’running!

While you’re enjoying a rich bowl of Jodi’s Old-Fashioned Winter Stew, grab your copy of any of my novels and have a good read by the fireside!

Check out Jodi’s news and her latest everything.

What’s next from Jodi? Another epic historical fiction novel catapulting the reader out of Texas into Mexico, Argentina, and China and into the epicenter of another intriguing human drama set during World War II. Look for it in 2022.

Recent AWARD-WINNING Publications by Jodi Lea Stewart

TRIUMPH, A NOVEL OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT is a 2021 International FIREBIRD First Place Multicultural Fiction Award Winner

5 Star Review - Triumph BookIf you loved To Kill a Mockingbird, and want a dramatic, different, and sometimes humorous version of New Orleans life, St. Louis, and Texas in the early to mid-century 1900s, all adorned in beguiling plot twists and unforgettable characters, read TRIUMPH, a Novel of the Human Spirit by Jodi Lea Stewart.

Two children are ripped from their separate homes in 1903, one by a secretive Voodoo sect, the other one hidden out of blind fear. Their uncertain fates set in motion a series of events that reverberate decades later. Opening in the Louisiana swamps and moving into New Orleans and St. Louis—this novel weaves together three vivid storylines featuring two friends of different races defying the odds of their heritage and 1950s bigotry.

TRIUMPH was a finalist in three categories in the 2021 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards contest, won a Readers’ Favorite with Reviewers, and is also a 2021 Firebird First Place Award Winner in Multicultural Fiction.


BLACKBERRY ROAD is a 2020 International CHANTICLEER First Place Multicultural Award Winner



Trouble sneaks in one Oklahoma afternoon in 1934 like an oily twister. A beloved neighbor is murdered, and a single piece of evidence sends the sheriff to arrest a black man who Biddy, a sharecropper’s daughter, knows is innocent. Hauntingly terrifying sounds seeping from the woods lead Biddy into even deeper mysteries and despair and finally into the shocking truths of that fateful summer.


“Beyond the humor and entertaining antics of the main character, Biddy Woodson, BLACKBERRY ROAD has depth and meaning as it explores stirring universal themes that we expect in great literature” ~ D.B. Jackson, acclaimed Historical and Western author

BLACKBERRY ROAD is engaging, entertaining, and a book that is sure to linger with you . . . the trip is well worth the time ~ Cyrus Webb, Host of ConversationsLIVE, president of Conversations Radio Network, tv show host, author, and Amazon top reviewer




It’s so much fun to read Jodi Lea Stewart’s books and to be taken away into the worlds that she creates, mainly because they are not just entertaining, but also teach us a lot about ourselves and life in general. THE ACCIDENTAL ROAD is no different . . . and in true Jodi Lea Stewart fashion there is a solid mixture of fun, adventure and even danger in store for this daughter and her mother . . . which is what makes the book so engaging. This is the kind of book you will want to read slowly so that you can savor the journey.

From beginning to end, THE ACCIDENTAL ROAD has all the ingredients of a satisfying read ~ Cyrus Webb, Host of ConversationsLIVE, president of Conversations Radio Network, tv show host, author, and Amazon top reviewer