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Hospitality Soup/ Chicken Vegetable Chowder

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.
I used
  • 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  Dijon Mustard
  1. Chop up the bacon and cook until crisp. Drain all the fat.
  2. Add onions and celery and saute til soft.
  3. Add the broth, thyme and bay leaf and cook until potatoes are done
  4. Mix the cornstarch or flour with the milk and whisk into the soup until smooth.
  5. Cook for a few more minutes until thick.
  6. Add frozen veggies, since they don't take much time to cook.
  7. Add 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.
You never know what you can create with what is in your nearly empty fridge or pantry.
Have fun creating, and let us know how it went.


  1. When it's time to use up leftovers from the fridge, we call it 'mustgoes'. I like the name hospitality soup..thanks for sharing these great ideas Char!

  2. Charlotte ..what a fantastic habit to get into. .using what is left in the fridge. Since it has been just the two of us often is tempting to throw a left bit away when it isn't even enough for lunch but you have inspired me to try doing this. . regularly.

  3. We call it "Whatchagot soup" at our house. I love the idea of throwing the leftovers into the freezer. That way you don't have to try to make something out of that tiny bit of leftover.

    One more tip - decide between a milk base, a tomato base or a clear broth base and then start adding ingredients that compliment the flavours of the base.

    I will use this chowder version - it looks great.

  4. I love the name (and the idea), Charlotte! I always had a 'leftover bucket' in my freezer when our family was growing up and made soup when it was full. It was always just didn't come with such a nice name. Hospitality soup it will be from now on!

  5. I love the name! What a great idea for leftovers.

  6. Like everyone has said... this is such a good reminder of how esily we can make a batch of soup with what we have on hand. Sometimes these are the best soups ... give them a funny name for the little ones and they clean up their share too.

  7. another great recipe! thanks

  8. Love the name and the explanation of the method. Always amazes and saddens me that so many people didn't have the chance to learn these things and apply them to their families.

  9. This is wonderful Char! Thanks for giving us a new name for our left overs. One of my co-workers does this and I think I will have to do this more often. Kathy (MGCC)

  10. Our kid's school used to have the kids make "Stone Soup". Do you know the story? A man said he could make soup from stone, but kept suggesting how a bit of this or that could be added if someone had some, which of course lead to a fabulous soup. The children would each bring some kind of veggie or starch, the teacher would bring the stock and seasoning. The kids were always so proud of their own version of stone soup!

  11. So great that you have posted this for many to learn how to use leftovers, and the name of the soup is wonderful. I have always kept and used leftovers for soup, as my mother taught us not to waste. Then, my daughter taught me to keep it in a pail or margarine tub in the freezer as you do. Soup based chowders are a hit in our house. I often use a variety of seafood, including leftover salmon, sometimes a can of clams, and will occassionally buy inexpensive bits of fish to keep and use in 'ocean chowder'. Last night I started out making 'Tuscany Soup' from this site, but ended up changing it by adding some leftovers. It was filling and delicious. Dairymary

  12. When I married my Mennonite wife thirty years ago, she made a soup like this for me because she knew how very fond of soups I am, (and remain). She explained how she had leftover veggys that were going quite rubbery and would otherwise be thrown out. With a smile on my face, and in my heart, in all innocence I said, "Ah, Compost Soup...." Need I say she was NOT amused. Being a good husband, I groveled. Of course, the resulting soup was very good. My wonderful wife caters to my lust for soup and creates so many gooood soups useing this very metheod. Scrounge around in the fridge or freezer and throw it in the pot with a stock of some kind, add some seasonings and cook slowly. Doggone it, I'm hungry....

    Repects Dan from Clearbrook BC

  13. You Are Doing A Great Job Here With Your Blog. Keep It Up..

  14. I discovered the secret ingredient when I tried somebody's Sausage Lentil Soup. It was yummy already and then right at the end you add the mustard. Instant gourmet! Could not believe the difference, and it isn't "mustardy."

  15. The name "Hospitality Soup" is charming. My dear Mennonite grandmother always called her similar soup by the name "Extra Blessed Soup" because we were blessed to have extra instead of not enough. :) And @ Dan, "Compost Soup" made me laugh because MY husband once called it "Recycle Soup." He has since be forgiven. LOL ;) Thank you, Charlotte, for posting this recipe!

  16. My husband's family calls it "Slumpy Grumpy" although no one knows why. :)


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