Nov 21, 2015

How To Make Free Soup

I'm not that great at cooking. There, I said it. Therefore, I rely heavily on my crock pots to feed us well. I once heard Paula Deen say that being frugal was important to her when raising her children as a single parent and she would take the spoonful of leftover veggies each night that were left in the bottom of the pans and scoop them out. She'd combine them all in one bag as a freezer hodgepodge so to speak. After a week or two, she would make soup from the once unusable leftovers.

I adopted this behavior. I began keeping a freezer bag in the door of the freezer and adding to it each time I had a spoonful or two of stove-top vegetables. I then would put them all in the crock pot with homemade chicken stock (I usually boil the bones from the deli chickens you can buy for 5 bucks already cooked-free stock after you already had the intended meal) and perhaps a can of homemade jarred tomatoes from my summer canning.

Not only do I keep leftover veggies, I would also save the one or two leftover chicken legs or keep out a few spoonfuls of hamburger meat I may have used to prepare hamburger helper during the week. You can usually find a serving or two of meat leftover in my fridge/freezer that I will keep for a weekend soup. Ham pieces and smokes sausages are great to toss in if you had any of that leftover as well. The kids love the little cocktail wieners wrapped as pigs in a blanket and I never knew what to do with the quarter bag of unused sausages until I started tossing them in soup. If you wanted to add more meat you could but I usually just kept enough meat on the side to flavor the soup and stock.

I often look in my pantry for the random fresh potato or onion, carrot or cabbage. A couple of handfuls of dried beans you have will add some more protein as well as flavor. Anything is great to add to the soup to make it heartier. Spices will take your soup to the next level. Pick your favorites from your spice rack and dash a little of this and that and you still haven't spent anything extra for this wonderful after church soup! Add croutons or crackers and you can serve a warm, delicious bowl full of healthy vegetables to your family....and it cost you nothing more than the leftovers you were about to throw away!

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