Feeling skint? Make soup!

imageWhenever I am trying to stretch my food budget, I make a huge vat of soup. I freeze some and the rest does as lunches for the week and maybe even dinner with a jacket potato or some bread and cheese.

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It is just so easy! As long as you have a decent stock and some onions as a base you can make soup from pretty much anything. I tend to make my own stock – I save all the bones and scraps from any poultry or other meat that we eat and freeze them. If I don’t have any bones I use a decent vegetable stock such as Marigold or Knorr in powdered form. I also save any bits of leftover veg as I go along: mashed potato is particularly good as a thickener, but cooked carrots, peas, cabbage, etc can all go in the pot, as well as bits and pieces of meat if you have any. I use whatever fresh veg there is in the fridge or garden to make soup. Sometimes there is a main ingredient like pumpkin or courgette because we have a glut. Other times I use a variety of ingredients and bulk the soup out with lentils, pulses or pearl barley.

I might chop the veg small and keep it as a chunky soup. Other times I blend it smooth. I always season it well. If I decide it needs more depth of flavour I find a squirt of soy sauce does wonders.

I can’t bear tinned soup and the fresh soups from the supermarket are often disappointing. I also resent paying Β£2-3 for half a litre of this stuff when I can make something that tastes much better for pennies.

Soup is healthy and nutritious too. You don’t need any special equipment, although a hand blender is useful. It’s hard to go wrong with home made soup if you want to be a frugal cook and get the best nutrition for your money!

6 thoughts on “Feeling skint? Make soup!

  1. Jane, great advice. I love good soups, and like you I can’t abide the canned soups. The fresh foods that are in soups made at home just taste so much better.

  2. I sometimes use couscous as an instant thickener. However, it’s easy to overdo it – yesterday’s batch of veg soup came out like savoury porridge!

  3. Yesterday, I cooked a huge amount of carrot, onion and celery, half of which is in bolognaise sauce in the slow cooker (and half of that will become chilli). The other half I put in to boxes in the freezer to make curry, but this post has made me think of quick soup, too. This trio of veg make such a great depth of flavour, especially as the onions were caramelised. So, thanks for the idea! I never buy tinned soup either; too salty and too expensive.

  4. I am a dedicated soup maker, yesterday it was a fish chowder, today is pea and ham. I freeze in portions and have a different one for lunch and dinner most days in the winter. I saw a program ages ago that demonstrated that we can absorb more nutrients from our food in soup form than solid.

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