Tag Archives: cheap meal

Monday 117: Lettuce Soup, Anyone?

Monday, 10 April 2017

Last month we replenished our food stores by buying bulk amounts of meat, coffee, and other staples, such as flour and beans.  Because we seldom eat out, we like to eat well at home.  There are times when we eat stuff just because we are too busy to do anything too elegant.  That is when a grilled hamburger takes its place at the dinner table.

Other times, we have more freedom in our lives to make meals, and that is when our stores come to good use, as well as making large amounts of a fancier meal so we can add to the frozen food supply.  As the internet is full of great recipes, it is an excellent resource for recipes using stores on hand, fresh or frozen.

At times, leftover vegetables become something of an issue.  This is where soups step in.  All you need are vegetables and water and herbs at a minimum, but other goodies, such as chicken broth (home-made from leftover chicken, or a box from Trader Joe’s), cream, butter, onions, garlic, herbs, lemon, tomatoes, and grains or pasta add to the mix.  I’ve made soups from wilting lettuce and leftover sweet potato fries.

My standard approach to making a soup is to survey the vegetables in the refrigerator.  Is the lettuce ok?  Do I have a small amount of cooked vegetables that are too small to make a serving for anyone?  What do I have on hand, what do I need to go buy?  Most importantly, what do I need to use up????

All these are considered.

Let me give you an example of my thoughts for today’s soup:

Sweet Potato Fries Soup

-Leftover sweet potato fries (made by roasting fingers of sweet potatoes in olive oil and pepper for about 45 minutes @ 350 F)
-Chicken stock
-Cream / yogurt

Combine leftover fries with some chicken stock; use immersion blender to puree. Add more stock and cream to serve amount of people being fed. Add a few blobs of butter as it warms up. Sprinkle with hot chili powder; garnish with fresh parsley and a dollop of kefir cheese or sour cream.

I have also made lettuce soup, though not recently.  It’s easy!  Same principles as above apply.

Leftover Lettuce Soup

-Old lettuce that is not spoilt
-Seasoning of your choice

Saute an onion with some garlic in a sauce pan. Blend some broth and lettuce in a blender till smooth. Add to onion and garlic. Heat, serve, eat. Season to your preferences.

A leftover lettuce soup is green and tasty. Heck, add other vegetables, like corn, carrots, broccoli. Whatever.

The whole point is to not waste food – just put it into new and edible forms. Making soups is often quick and easy.  You can freeze them, too, for those days when you could use them – or just freeze them to get them out of the way so you can move onto the next meal.

Creative usage of leftovers and not-so-fresh produce is a great way to save money as well as stock up your frozen food supplies.