There is nothing as comforting as a good and hearty soup/chowder/stew.
It welcomes family and friends around the table, with little effort or a big chunk of your grocery budget. When it is time to clean out the fridge before your next grocery shopping trip, you can create a new and interesting soup.
Allow me to share how you too can create this delectable dish, when you thought you had nothing good to eat at home.
First check what you have in your fridge, vegetables that look a little limpy, like carrot, celery, broccoli or cauliflower, you may not want to eat them as is, but for a soup it is just fine. What about a little left over roast beef/chicken or meatballs/spaghetti sauce.
Rinse out your nearly empty bottles of ketchup or bbq sauce into the soup.
Check your pantry. Do you have a can of beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetables. Perhaps a bag of pasta or rice that barely has enough in it to use as a meal. How about a can of soup that can really stretch to feed a family on. Use that as a base.
It really isn't that complicated to create "something" from "nothing" and make your budget stretch. Years ago a women came and spoke to our mom's group at church about "hospitality" and her tip to us was to have a container in the freezer for those little left overs from a meal that isn't enough to keep as meal, like rice, pasta, meat, vegetables or what ever it is. So instead of dumping it in the garbage, or eating it because you don't want to waste it, place it in the container and when you have enough, add it to your soup pot at the end of the week.
I have heard of this kind of soup referred to as garbage soup. But I refuse to call it that. I believe it is a privilege to have so much food in our country, that wwe even have leftovers. It should never be referred to as garbage. We should be wise with it, not wasteful and bless others with what we have, even we don't have a big food budget. Hence it is now called HOSPITALITY SOUP. I hope you refer to it that way as well.
Our family enjoys soups and I make it every week. It is never the same, but always tasty and satisfying with a batch of biscuits or fresh bread, you are ready to call everyone to the table.
This is just one of the soups that we have enjoyed. Remember if you don't have all the ingredients on hand that is OK, use what you have and be creative. You can make it your own, and use your imagination.
This is what I did for the picture above.
I call it a chicken/vegetable chowder.
Chowders are often dairy based and a little thicker than a broth based soup.
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 cups of leftover chicken/turkey/or try ground chicken instead. I used leftover roast chicken.
- 5 cups of chicken broth ( it can be homemade, canned or powder based)
- 1 onion
- 2 celery stalks chopped fine (to hide it from my daughter)
- 1 or 2 carrots, sliced
- 1/2 - 1 red or green pepper
- sliced mushrooms
- 5 medium potatoes, skin on if the potatoes are fresh, peeled if not
- 1 cup of frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen beans
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup of flour/ or 2 heaping tbsp. of cornstarch
- 1 small can of skim evaporated milk/or if you prefer you can use cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. of ** secret ingredient**
- Chop up the bacon and cook until crisp. Drain all the fat.
- add onions and celery and saute til soft.
- add the broth, thyme and bay leaf and cook until potatoes are done
- mix the cornstarch or flour with the milk and whisk into the soup until smooth.
- cook for a few more minutes until thick.
- add frozen veggies, since they don't take much time to cook.
- add ** secret ingredient**........Dijon mustard. Yup that is right, I had an almost empty container of it that wouldn't squeeze out any more, so I rinsed it in the soup. It was so good, now I intentionally add a tablespoon of it to soup. Pretty clever I thought, I love it. It doesn't taste like mustard but adds a nice depth of flavor.
Have fun creating, and let us know how it went.