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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Archives: Old Topic of the Month Threads / Depression/recession soups from leftovers!
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    Depression/recession soups from leftovers!

    Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:35 pm
    Forum Host
    This could be a contentious post!!

    The best, most flavourful soups are made by chucking those small leftover amounts of veggies, a stripped chicken carcass, beef bones, onion, etc. into a pot.

    What I mean is to seriously think about NOT wasting food -- even the untouched food on plates can be saved and chucked into a stock on the stove.

    I've made the most wonderful soups by cleaning out the fridge veg drawers and adding (un-chewed!!!!) leftovers from plates or dishes. After boiling, seasoning and processing to a smooth consistency, we had gorgeous flavourful soups ...

    Do keep in mind that -- even if you use uneaten leftovers on plates -- after 10 minutes' cooking it will be sterilised!! icon_cool.gif

    These "impromptu" soups have far more flavour than those soups carefully made from a recipe. And your fridge veggie drawers will have been cleaned out of itsy-bitsy wrapped green beans/celery sticks/the last 2 carrots ... etc.!
    Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:55 pm
    Forum Host
    Zurie, you raise an interesting point - some people get so focused on a recipe and the ingredients listed in a recipe that they lose sight of the fact that any recipe started at some point from a blank slate. By doing what you suggest you learn what works together well, what does not, what combinations your family will like, what they won't, and, as you say, you are frugal and environmentally responsible.

    I will never forget when a friend of mine dropped over unannounced and told me she was hungry. I went to the fridge, pulled out broth, some spinach, some left over rice, a scallion, a carrot, and whipped up a little soup - no recipe, just put it all together. She could not believe that I did not just open a can and that I could do it without a cookbook. Same thing with meat - I know that you can put together a stew just picking things out from the fridge and the veggie bin, I can, too. I later ended up giving this friend some cooking lessons, just so she could make some simple meals for herself - not make huge quantities of things, but enough to feed herself a couple of times - and make efficient use of things she liked to buy but then was unsure of how to use.

    When I was still in college I was a camp counselor and parents dropped kids off a day before camp was starting, complely without permission. I ended up having to feed 40 people. Had I ever fed 40 people myself - no. Did I have a single cookbook in rural Michigan - no. This was way before computers and internet were available. I had no problem making a chicken dinner to feed all of them, never really thought about it. (The check-out clerk was quite amazed when we lined up whole chickens on the conveyor belt at the market. My co-counselor and I told her we had a large family! Yes, I bought whole chickens and cut them up). I think it would frighten many young people today to be put in this position.

    I think a lot of waste is the result of people not understanding some fundamentals of cooking. Too many of us live in a fast food world.

    Last edited by duonyte on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:26 pm
    Forum Host
    Don't get me wrong, I like recipes, read recipes, try recipes. But I don't need to have a recipe to make a meal.
    Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:26 pm Groupie
    Avid recipe collector here, but I rarely use recipes for soups. At work when I have soup & buns on the menu I never plan on the kind of soup I am going to make. Just open the frig and see what I have there then the freezer, then the cupboards. The only way I mess up is putting too much rice in my Chicken & Rice. I just make sure I have beef and chicken bouillon powders in my cupboard. Today I made Hamburger Soup.
    Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:44 pm
    Forum Host
    Far from it Zurie, I think its a good topic for comments and Dibs and I think its a good idea to do a TOTM on recession recipes as it would give lots of people ideas. looking in my fridge I could make loads of things with whats there.

    duonyte, you are so right, we can all whip up a meal - be it soup or a bowl of chilli without having to have a recipe next to us all the time. It the days of the depression it must have been very hard and yet everyone learnt to cut corners, make do and be creative. I was always fascinated listening to my late God Mother chatting about those days. She remembers her father going out rabbit hunting and as she said, we ate simply and we were never hungry!
    Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:16 pm
    Forum Host
    Thank you for the wise replies!!

    I've mentioned using leftovers on plates before, ages ago (in soup) and it was met with horror!! People forget that cooking sterilises everything, and you do not use anything which has had a bite out of it.

    We do not need to do this, fortunately: it's just that my best winter soups have consisted of cleaning out veg drawers and using a chicken wing or a chunk of meat that's not been eaten.

    Likewise: If you have shrimp peels or you've filleted a fish and the backbone and head are left, or even (if lucky enough) you have lobster shells, all this makes a wonderful fish stock -- with stuff like chopped onion, carrot, celery, seasonings, added -- of course.

    I freeze it in ziplocks, mark it clearly as "fish stock", and use it in the winter months to make fish stews or soups or make-believe bouillabaise.
    Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:46 pm Groupie
    My guys don't care that much for soup, but I like to make it for myself for lunch with whatever leftover veggies we have. I don't know why anyone would have a problem with using leftovers from plates; I do it all the time. As Ruth Stout put it, they "would have been in your mouth if your appetite had held out a little longer."

    I like to make shrimp stock with just the shells, nothing else, but I use it more to add to dishes than for soup.
    Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:55 am
    Forum Host
    totally love this Quote :
    As Ruth Stout put it, they "would have been in your mouth if your appetite had held out a little longer."

    Thats a fact, using leftovers and adding to to meals or just rehashing it is a great ay to use leftovers BUT also to save lots of money
    Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:56 am Groupie
    I have never given it much thought, but I have often put the leftovers from plates into containers and used them for something else, or just ate them the next day. I mean, it's just like going to a restaurant and bringing home those leftovers, right?

    Ruth's quote is one I have not heard before, but I love it. Thanks for sharing it, Chocolatl.

    My favorite ways to clean out the fridge are soup and tacos. It seems like just about anything can be rolled in a tortilla, called a taco, and my family will eat it. icon_lol.gif
    They're not exactly soup lovers, although they eat it every time, but I could live on soup.
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