Monday, 2 January 2012

Another Frugal Soup Recipe for 2012

It's all over for another year - Christmas has been and gone, Hogmanay has been and gone, New Year has been and gone. We're now marching boldly into 2012, ready to do battle with whatever life throws at us and hopeful of grabbing any new opportunities that may present themselves along the way.

There was no winter snow over the festive week, instead, we had wind and rain with the odd smattering of sleat and hailstones. Occasionally, a glimmer of sunhine managed to sneak through the clouds. Sadly, we lost a 'runty duckling' that prefered to stay in the pond than seek shelted from the torrential dowpours, but the rest of the Frugaldom menagerie seems happy enough. The cat loves her new toys and the rabbit has been out for a run about the garden to work off all the extra carrot peelings she managed to consume over Christmas.

The breadmaker had been playing up for quite some time; it had lost all the little washers from between it's baking pan and the mixing blade which, itself, was almost worn out. Everything was crossed that it would see us through Christmas. As (good) luck would have it, mum had passed her's on to one of my sisters who had ended up putting it into her attic, so a quick phone call of pleasantries and pleading - OK, I simply asked her - meant she had time to fish the breadmaker from the attic and bring it on her trip to the family get together.

Despite it being a few years old, this machine is in almost new condition, as neither of its previous owners seemed to enjoy (or have time for) breadmaking. I think I won out on this, as it's now safely ensconced in my kitchen, replacing my old one. The old one, however, hasn't been thrown out, as it does still work! It might come in useful sometime in the future, or may even find itself with a shiny new baking pan and mixing blade.

Two loaves are better than one, apparently, as the 'new' machine makes two tiny loaves simultaneously. The settings allow for different types of mix to be used in each pan, so we can have white and wholemeal or cake and bread baking at the same time. Right now, I have a couple of bananas needing used up, so I'll probably do a wholemeal loaf alongside banana bread tomorrow morning.

The post-festive period is a great time for using up leftovers. Let's face it, most of us have them around this time of year, whether it's turkey from Christmas or steak pie, gammon or roast beef from New Year. I used half the stuffed turkey breast for Christmas day, so the other half went into the freezer, cooked. I had pheasants in the freezer, so one of them got cooked up with all the trimmings and served with puff pastry in suitable pie-like passion on New Year's Day. The cat is happy, as she has had all the extra meat chopped into catfood-sized nuggets and then everything else that remained of the fine bird went into my slow cooker.

Cue another one of those rather 'interesting' Frugaldom soup tales...


Everything remaining from the pheasant went into the big crock pot in the slow cooker, along with a couple of onions and the leftover potatoes. This was set on the timer to simmer for a few hours overnight. At the same time, I rinsed off a 500g pack of broth mix and a cupful of butter beans, then left them soaking in cold water overnight.

In the morning, the stock was strained and then returned to the slow cooker, along with the broth mix, butter beans and half a carton of passata that I had lurking in the fridge. (I buy store's own 'basic' passata, as it's cheaper than tins of chopped tomatoes and works well as a base for turning the end slices of homemade bread into frugal, speedy pizzas.) Season the soup with salt & pepper, then leave to simmer until all the beans, peas, lentils and barley are tender.

That's it, that's the frugal game soup of the day and it works equally well using a shin of beef, although this would add to your costs by around 65p.

The pheasant cost me nothing, as I had traded for a brace through our LETS group, so stock from leftovers is an extra bonus, as we'd already had the bird for New Year's dinner. The broth mix and butter beans had been on special offer last year, when I made a bulk purchase, so I reckon they cost me no more than 50p in total. If I recall correctly, the cheap passata costs 23p and I'd already used half of it for lunchtime pizzas. The onions and  potatoes were leftovers from New Year's dinner and they were all homegrown, so I don't bother counting them. At a rough estimate, I got 4.5 litres of soup for no more than 73p plus the cooking time (20p).

I'd say 20 portions of soup for 93p was a fairly frugal meal, wouldn't you?

Looking forward to getting back into the frugaling spirit this year, with plenty of new projects and challenges. Don't forget you can follow the day to day activities of frugal living in our frugaldom forums, where the brand new 2012 Frugal Living Challenge has just begun.

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  1. Happy New Frugal Year. What a way to start it off, with a lovely winter warmer soup that sounds delicious and costs so little Soup is on my menu plan too for this week using the ham stock, veg drawer bits lentils and barley and hm bread for dunking.....mmm..lovely.

  2. I'm glad I got the soup made, as we had no power from 6am this morning until about 3pm this afternoon. Pesky storms!


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