Monday, April 8, 2013

Frugal Food: I'ts a Soup du Jour

Looking for frugal option in the kitchen?  Try a soup du jour!  And to keep it ultra frugal, make it from scratch.  This past weekend I turned out three different pots of soup.  Providing not only a healthy and easy meal, but populating the freezer with several containers that will provide brown bag lunches for my husband in the weeks ahead.

#1 - Split Pea Soup -- half-bag (i.e. 1/2 pound) yellow split peas, 1/2 container broth, 1 bullion cube, 2 cups water, bay leaf, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour.  Options to play with this include adding chopped onions, celery or carrots.  I choose to keep it very plain given the toddlers at my table.  But they both ate their entire bowl full.

#2 - Lentil and Cilantro Soup -- garlic and onion sauteed in sunflower oil (2 tablespoons), and 1/2 cup red lentils, one container (box) broth, bring to a boil and simmer for about 40 minutes.  Add chopped cilantro for another 5 minutes.  Pairs wonderfully with Mexican skillet-- ground beef, black beans, cilantro, cheese, onions and avocado.

#3 - Bean and Ham Soup -- before flying out to DC for Spring Break we had some family over for a pre-Easter meal.  One feature was a small ham, and it was not entirely consumed.  I tossed it in the freezer, and Sunday it gave us another meal in the form of soup.  First, 1 pound of black eye peas were brought to a boil and then left to simmer for 1 hour.  Second, in went diced ham, red pepper, onion, garlic, and celery along with a container of broth and a bay leaf.  Simmer for another hour.  Served with apple slices, leftover zucchini bread, and cheese.

The skies over Madison are wet and gray today, and forecast to be that way for the next several days.  Soup goes perfectly with this weather.  Enjoy if you opt to give a recipe a whirl, and feel free to comment leaving suggestions for your own favorite soup.

Frugal food has been an intense focus of this blog, and it will become even more so in the weeks ahead.  Yes, we are in frugal overdrive, but more importantly we were reminded of an important lesson Saturday.  My husband had a violent attack of food poisoning.  Cooking at home not only saves money, but gives you greater control over the quality and preparation of your food!

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