Editor’s note: This reader recipe is an online addition to our November 2020 cover story, “Taste and see.”

Stewardship stew

By Anita Simpson

A few years ago, my husband, Tom, was leading our church’s stewardship campaign. We are members of Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal-Lutheran in rural Galax, Va. Good Shepherd is one of a few Episcopal-Lutheran federated congregations in Virginia.

For the last Sunday of the campaign, Good Shepherd held a stewardship meal during fellowship that featured “stewardship stew.” A basic recipe was distributed to about five people, who were told to follow the recipe but to add one more ingredient to make the dish their own and to bring it to church that Sunday. The cooks added oregano, a touch of hot pepper, peas, etc. When all the pots of stew were gathered, they were dumped into one large pot! What a surprise to everyone who worked hard on their pot of stew. The point was that we all come together as one to share our time, talents and treasures, and we combine with and complement each other as we worship God and support one another and our community through good times and hard times.

The combined stew was wonderful and was accompanied by bread made by one of our members. The bowls were licked clean, and the symbolism was not lost on those who were present. We realized that while we all have a lot of things in common, we all have talents and tastes that are different. The individual stews were good, but the combined stew was even better. The same is true of each of us, and it is our differences that make us stronger in our service to God.

2 pounds lean beef, cut into stew-sized pieces
1 quart water or beef or vegetable broth
2 cups sliced potatoes
1 cup sliced, cubed turnips
1 cup sliced carrots
1-2 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
One clove garlic
Your favorite herb, spice or vegetable


  1. Sauté the meat, stirring constantly. When all surfaces are well-browned, put it into the soup pot.
  2. Cover with water/stock and bring to a boil; skim fat off the surface. Simmer for one hour.
  3. Add the carrot, turnip, onion and potato; simmer for one more hour.
  4. Thicken with 3 tablespoons of flour, diluted with enough cold water to pour easily.
  5. Let the stew come to a boil again and simmer for 10 minutes.


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