Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saving On Lunches: Soups

The average lunch menu for many people probably includes sandwiches, chips and other such food. One reason for this is sandwiches taste great and can be made in a wide range of varieties. Also they are quick and easy. But sandwiches have their down falls; they are not always nutritious and/or strain the budget (i.e. bologna is cheap but not exactly healthy). So my solution to solving both the nutrition and budget problems is soups.

Soups are packed with nutrients, and can be made with all kinds of inexpensive ingredients. Think about what can go into soups: leftovers, carrots, chicken bones, celery, beans , noodles, canned and frozen vegetables, potatoes, garden vegetables, squash, and the list goes on- all inexpensive good food.

To start making soups you need a good stock. I usually make double or triple batches of chicken stock to save time later, this lasts me a month or two. Chicken is my favorite stock because we can get chicken leg quarters from our Wal-Mart for $0.49/lb. Mom divides them into backs, legs and thighs to freeze and I use the backs for stock. There are lots of great stock recipes out there, I use the chicken stock recipe from
Nourishing Traditions. Be sure to add a couple tablespoons of vinegar to extract the calcium from the bones and parsley to impart additional mineral ions to the broth.1 Other basic stocks include beef (or venison), fish, and vegetable.

Now you are ready to try all those great soup recipes hiding away in your recipe collection. You by no means need a recipe though. Some just like to keep a "soup bucket" in the freezer to collect leftover vegetables and meat, then they simmer it all in some stock or stock/water mix and add whatever spices sound good. When you make soup and have a lot of ingredients on hand, make double or triple batches to freeze for those days when you don't feel like cooking (make sure you like the recipe first).

If you haven't made many soups before you may want to stick to recipes until you get the feel for what taste good and goes together. I have posted two recipes here Bean Soup (my own creation), and Cream of Vegetable Soup (N.T. recipe) 1. Also look for recipes at Recipe Zaar. I like this recipe site because you can search by ingredient and also can adjust servings number then calculates the measurements for you. I have really enjoyed soups from Nourishing Traditions, if you have the book by all means take a look at them. You can find great recipes every where once you are looking for them. So dig in and serve your family something yummy and warm for lunch for a change.

God Bless

1. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon was my inspiration to explore soups. If you don't own the book yet, I highly recommend it.


Jessica said...

Hello! I haven't stopped by recently, so I thought I'd say hi and see how it was going. :) Me and my family LOVE soup so I think we should try this sometime!


This is a really good tip. I love soup also, in fact we just had soup as part of our lunch yesterday. :)