Toward the end of the month, and with $0.02 left in the food budget, we have to get creative. I don’t think you can even buy a gumball for that price. Yeah, we could go shopping, but the point of the Uber Frugal Month Challenge is to re-think frugality. Hence, Kitchen Sink Soup!
During the week, Mr. 182 makes dinner for sure on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. These are the nights I don’t get home until 7 p.m. He likes to cook, and in all the time he has been doing this, he has only made one meal I didn’t like too much – it had boiled brussel sprouts, which are just gross. When I have time, I like to cook, too.
Yesterday, in the spirit of uber-frugalling, I rummaged around the house and the internet to come up with a variation of minestrone soup.
In the freezer, I found a cut-up chicken. I put it in a stew pot, added water, celery, onion, tomato slices, bay leaves, peppercorns, a carrot, and some herbs. I brought it to a boil, turned it down to a low simmer, covered, and cooked the chicken. I pulled out the chicken, and set it aside for a pot pie or something else for tomorrow (after all the soup is gone). I ran the broth through a sieve, set it aside, discarded the cooked veggies (put them into your compost if you have it), and washed out the kettle. From there, I did this:
Kitchen Sink Soup
2-3 T. olive oil
1 andouille or other sausage or leftover meat (or none), chopped
4-6 cloves grated garlic
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced,
1 zucchini, diced
1 28-oz can plum tomatoes (I used Cento’s San Marzano Plum Tomatoes)
1 15-oz can Great Northern Beans
1/2 c. pasta (I used orecchiette)
broth from the chicken I just stewed (you can use regular broth, about 6-8 cups)
salt, pepper, etc.
Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
Heat stew pot, add olive oil. Place chopped onion in pan, saute over low heat until clear and golden. Add meat (if using) and saute a bit. Stir in grated garlic. Add remaining diced vegetables, saute until cooked. Once the vegetables are at the desired degree of being done, pour in the can of tomatoes. Mash up the tomatoes (I used my potato masher), and cook a bit more. Put in the chicken broth or whatever stock you are using. Bring to a boil, add pasta and beans. Drop to a simmer and cover pot. Watch to make sure the pot does not boil over from the cooking pasta. Check pasta for al dente. Ready to serve!
Ladle into bowls, sprinkle grated cheese on top, and eat with good bread. (We used our homemade sourdough.)