Thursday, 6 October 2011

Stocks and Shares of the Frugal Variety.

These Pay Dividends of a Different Type!


No, I'm not talking the London Stock Exchange, NASDAQ or Wall Street, I'm talking home made stock and the freshly picked produce that my garden shares with me on a regular basis.

But it still pays dividends!

Having roast chicken for dinner is always the precursor of Frugaldom stock trading. I trade the stripped chicken carcass for a lovely pot of stock! Obviously, you may choose to take (or make) this with a pinch of salt, but I prefer mine seasoned with the addition of pepper, as well. It's a pretty hot commodity, in my honest opinion.

Stockmaking all looks rather messy at the start, but boiling the bones is the only way to get all that lovely flavour into the water that will later become your soup. Strain off the juices and, for a lower fat version, allow the stock to cool, chill it and then skim off any fat.

I tend to make my stock over the period of few hours in the slow cooker - frugal and almost impossible for it to boil over when left unattended. If you have cheap rate overnight electricity, this is the best time for slow cookers, just use a timer switch.

This time of year is brilliant for thick soups, stews and broths and I always serve them with wedges of freshly baked bread or dumplings. I usually set aside a small carton of the extra meat that is always left over, then this also gets added into the final dish.

From the garden, earlier in the week, I had gathered sprouting broccoli, patty pan squash, beans, turnips, carrots, 5 courgettes and onions, plus I also had a mugful of stewed tomatoes to use up, from making pizza for yesterday's lunch.

Everything except the runner beans has gone into the soup pan and is simmering gently along with a decent helping of red, split lentils and a heaped teaspoonful of turmeric, for added autumn kick.


Despite this all sounding like a very strange concoction, the only ingredients that were paid for in cash were the lentils and seasoning, so this really is a frugal meal.

The pan used holds 6.5L of liquid, so I usually make 5L of soup, meaning that there is always plenty stored in the freezer for winter warmer snacks, lunches or suppers.

Never be afraid of experimenting with stocks or soup-making.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, use your scrubbed peelings, stalks, tops and tails to make a vegetable stock. Season it with whatever herbs or spices you prefer and then freeze the surplus for later use. Simmering some spaghetti in the stock makes for frugal noodle soup, while using this same stock for cooking such things as rice, pasta or cous cous always gives that extra bit of flavour and a few extra vitamins and minerals.

Within the realms of frugal living and housekeeping, there is probably no cheaper option than homemade soup. It is also one of the most nourishing foods for sipping when feeling under the weather or otherwise off your food.

We love soup, especially because you can make it from almost anything.

I'll upload a photo of this latest soup as soon as it is ready. Until then, I can't tell you how it looks or tastes, as this truly is a use-it-up recipe.

Edit: This soup tastes delicious! It is much more colourful than I had expected it to be, but looks very appetising.

Lunch for the next few days and enough left over for several servings to go into the freezer.

The tomatoes give it an interesting look, much less bland than ordinary green pea soup and much more interesting than chicken with rice.

We now have the big debate - to blend or not to blend?

NYK Media

3 comments:

  1. We have that debate everytime I make soup, Lovely Hubby likes it rough and chunky, I prefer it thick and rich.....either way as you say it tastes amazing and is so good for you and uses up all those itty bitty leftovers that lurk in the fridge.

    Sue xx

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  2. I often just blitz half the panful, it thickens the soup but you retain some chunkiness

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  3. Sue, I'm sure you've mistaken my soup for sauce! At least you didn't suggest it get strained. LOL

    I left it sitting overnight to thicken up and decided against blitzing it, as I'd prefer to enjoy the meaty bits. With plenty of it, I can always blitz future portions. :)

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