Soup is the frugal cook’s best friend. It doesn’t take much of anything; a little bit of meat, a little bit of broth, a little bit of vegetable, a little bit of onion, and a judicious hand with spices and herbs come together to stretch and create a pot of mind-bendingly good soup big enough to feed a crowd.
You and I both know meat is expensive, but it’s oh-so-good… I like my cold weather soups to have the oomph and fullness of taste that meat provides. In order to get that without breaking the bank, I use highly flavourful meats like kielbasa or smoked beef sausage in my soup. To make the meat go further, I use one of my dad’s tricks; the smaller the amount of meat I have, the smaller I dice it and the further it goes. The goal is to get a little bit of meat in every bite and this works like magic.
Now you can fool your tastebuds with the little bitty meat trick, but you can’t fool your belly into thinking its full. To help bulk up the soup and make it more satisfying you have to add STUFF. I like beans (the perennial meat substitute) and lots of ‘em, greens of some sort (spinach or kale are my preferences), carrots, celery and onions. Will the soup fail if you’re missing one of those things? Oh gosh no, it’ll just be different. I’m a food blogger, though, it’s my job to tell you how to replicate what I like best.
…And this soup is what I like best. It’s what my hubby likes best. It’s what my kids (minus the “EW! No green stuff!” crowd) like best. It’s just plain good stuff and it comes together so quickly that you’ll miss it if you blink. Unless you’re in a household of one or two people, I don’t advise reducing the recipe. Yes, it DOES make a lot. Okay, if I’m being really honest, it makes a vat. Here’s the thing, though. It is a universal truth that soup tastes better on Day Two. On Day Three? Forget about it. It’s better yet! Odds are the soup won’t make it past Day Four, but if it does, pop it into the freezer in microwave safe, resealable containers. There it will sit happily waiting for you to have a soup craving.
Mmmmmmm… soup. It’s good for the soul AND the pocketbook.
Oh! Be here tomorrow! There will be a giveaway and it’s a doozy! You want a hint? It rhymes with Mary & Play-vid. Ahem.