Monday, February 23, 2015

Leftovers Soup

Okay, so this is the first in a new series that will run on Mondays, called Gourmet…Way Before Payday. We’ll start off with this recipe for Leftovers Soup. It’s simple and easy and you use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge or cabinets. Some veggies go better together than others, but hey, who knows, you may come up with a combination that’ll be your family’s new favorite. ;)

Meat is optional; I’ve made plenty of soups like this with no meat. One trick I use is to use ground turkey: when you brown it, keep cutting at it with the spoon or spatula you stir it with to break it up smaller. You can use less and it spreads further. I haven’t been able to afford hamburg in a long time, and ground turkey is less expensive. I buy the 3 lb pack and use usually around ¾ lb, which is $1.92 for the meat in the meal, for six people, plus leftovers.

Another trick I use is to buy beef, whatever cut I can find, that’s marked down because the last sale date is the next day. I check often, but get it only once in a while because usually there doesn’t happen to be any. If I hit it good, I buy it and portion it out into 2 or 3 bags (about ¾-1 lb each) and freeze it. When I need it, I cut it into very small pieces to spread it further in the recipe.

So, let’s get cooking!

On the day I made this particular one, I had a great looking pepper and onion, some carrots that were beginning to sprout, some wrinkly potatoes, and some very pale looking cabbage. It just may have been the rare and elusive Albino Cabbage in my vegetable drawer. ;)

I almost always have cans of diced tomatoes in the cupboard, and they go excellent with a “beef” based soup. What I would have loved to put in it if I had had it that day are: rutabaga, corn, celery…such is the nature of Leftovers Soup.

First step is to dice the veggies you have to work with. I leave the peels on the potatoes because I can’t peel them, but we all could use the fiber and nutrition anyway, right? I dice the pepper and onion (and celery if I had it) smaller, of course, than the potatoes, and the carrots are sliced into rounds.

In a large soup pot or sauce pan, brown the ground turkey (or substitute) if you’re using some, along with the peppers and onions. If using celery, this is when you’d add it, too. If you’re not using any meat, just use 1 or 2 Tbl oil and sauté the peppers and onions until tender.

       While that's cooking, chop the cabbage.

When the ground meat and/or peppers and onions are done, add the stock, diced tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage.

Add the dried basil and black pepper. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to simmer for at least half an hour; an hour is even better.

Serve and enjoy! ~TMMF

Leftovers Soup

¾-1 lb ground turkey (optional)
½ green pepper
1 Vidalia onion
4 or 5 carrots
4 or 5 potatoes
½ cabbage
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
6 c beef stock or broth
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp black pepper

Serves 6-8 with leftovers. This soup cost me $6.60 to make, with the ground turkey in it.

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