Friday, 9 August 2013

We Love Frugal Food! From 5p Soup to Mixed Fruit Crumble

It's Time for the Game to Begin!

Tomato and Pheasant Make a Good Game Soup

This is a homemade soup I first blogged about in 2011, so you may already have a similar recipe. However, it's getting to 'that' time of year again, so I thought I would make myself a big pot of this over the weekend; there's a pheasant in the freezer needing used up before the new game season is upon us. This also gives me the chance to compare prices between now and 2011.
I normally slow cook meat so all of the juices remain in the crock pot. Any oil, fat or grease can be skimmed off once it's cold. Everything remaining goes back into the slow cooker along with any leftover vegetables you may need to use up rather than send them to the compost or wormery. I like to simmer my stock on a low heat for a few hours overnight, so it's best to use a timer.

Rinse a 500g pack of broth mix and a cupful of butter beans, then you can also leave them soaking in cold water overnight. I notice that the broth mix has increased in price to 75p/500g but there are still offers around where you can stock up at £1 per kilo.
In the morning, the stock gets strained and then returned to the slow cooker, along with a couple of diced onions and carrots, the broth mix, butter beans and a tin of chopped tomatoes or equivalent - passata, home grown tomatoes or tomato paste. This time, I am using 100% tomato paste!

This is the 4.5kg tin of tomato paste I bought from Approved Food for just £1.99! It also works well as a base for turning the end slices of homemade bread into frugal, speedy pizzas and for making up the likes of Bolognese, lasagne or chilli. It can even be used to make tomato ketchup.

Season your soup with salt and 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, as there's no main meal beforehand from a shin of beef.
  • The pheasant cost me nothing, as I had traded other home produce for it, so any stock from leftovers is an extra bonus after having the roast dinner.
  • Broth mix and pulses are always bought on special offer, when it's best to stock up on them for the winter months. I reckon they cost me no more than 50p in total. Butter beans, however can be swapped for something else, as these have gone over £3 per kilo. I'll be using a tin of kidney beans added in the later stages of cooking.
  • Store's basic passata costing 23p in 2011 is now 29p, but you only need half a carton so you can use the other half for frugal pizzas.
  • Onions, carrots and potatoes would normally be home-grown, but if you need to buy them then they'll probably cost less than 50p in total for what you'll use
At a rough estimate, 4.5 litres of soup will cost around £2.00 including the cooking time if you are buying all the ingredients, or around £1 if you are using home grown and bulk bought bargains. 
Regardless of how you choose to source your ingredients, 20 portions of soup for £2.00 makes for a fairly frugal and nutritious meal. 10p per portion can be halved to 5p if you are of the frugal living ilk. This soup freezes well and makes for ideal soup and pudding lunches.
Speaking of pudding, the blackcurrants are still going strong and I am still using up rhubarb, so I stewed these two together today and turned one lot into crumble and the rest went into the freezer.
Quite a bit of sugar gad to be added to this, so it will be much more frugal to stew once the apples are ready for picking - they add some natural sweetness to the mix.
Raspberries are growing in abundance now, so I have several tubs of those already frozen and we are gathering about 250g per day from the bushes in the garden. These are being frozen as they get picked, apart from the ones that get eaten as a cold dessert or else lightly stewed into sauce for having over ice cream.
It has definitely been a foody sort of a day today! 
The cooked mince with tomatoes got made into four lots of double-portion lasagnes. These will go into the freezer later tonight and they'll do for speedy meals or else for H having when I'm away on my next jaunt. More on that soon.
Finally, I may or may not have already mentioned that I have acquired a small ice-cream maker, so this is going to be experimented with over the weekend. I'm not sure where doing work on the bedroom makeover is going to fit into the equation but for now it's fairly presentable, so no need to worry about that. I want to make ice cream!
The results of the #BudgetBucketList blogging competition got announced this afternoon and, although Frugaldom didn't feature in the final line up, it was lovely reading the winner's blog post and her plans for how to spend the £2,000.00 she won. You can read the winning blog here.
The bucket list has spurred me on to complete my next affordable item this year, so I am now planning my trip and will, hopefully, walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge before my next birthday. After that, I'm on my way to the big 50!
Still debt free and living this good life, so never give up on your dreams. Most things are achievable on a smaller budget than many would believe possible.

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