This black bean soup saved me during a recent attack of, “Oh my God, there is nothing in kitchen to cook with!” Even though it sometimes seems that way, there's rarely, literally nothing to cook with. I quickly found a few slices of bacon, a couple cans of beans, and an onion, and with the help of a spicy lime and green onion relish, turned it into a very decent bowl of soup.
It got me thinking about all those long shelf life, must-have pantry and fridge staples you can count on to produce a meal when lacking supplies. My short list is olive oil, beans, pasta, bacon, Parmigiano-Reggiano, eggs, tomato sauce, anchovies, salami, capers, garlic, onions, potatoes, and fresh citrus. As long as those things are close by, I can still look forward to a great meal no matter how sparse the rest of the provisions.