We eat a ton of soup in the fall and winter months. It’s comforting, easy, nutritious, and frugal. In order to keep the soup flowing, I keep a well-stocked soup pantry and rarely follow a recipe. Keeping your pantry stocked and full makes it much easier to throw together a quick and delicious soup in no time.
- Save your bones, all of them in the freezer until you gather enough to make stock. Keep different containers for poultry, beef, fish, pork, etc. After your meals, put the bones in the appropriate container and when full make up a pot of stock.
- You can save your veggie peelings for stock as well, though most folks probably use that for compost.
- Save leftovers in another container in the freezer, as well. Bits of leftover meats, veggies, legumes, and grains make a soup truly grand and stretch your dollars even further.
- Keep your pantry stocked with canned and dried items to add flavor and substance. Think vegetables, dried mushrooms, herbs, spices, and more grains.
- Keep onions and garlic on hand, they can punch up the flavor of anything.
- Canned tomatoes are usable in so many ways for chilis, soup ingredients, and a quick blend turns them into a wonderful soup base if you’re wanting something a little different than your usual chicken broth.
- Most importantly keep permission on hand. Permission for yourself to be daring with your ingredients, permission to combine things that you haven’t seen in a cookbook or on a blog. Remember to use the ingredients that you and your family enjoy and get creative in making that soup.
Round out your soup meals in a variety of ways to keep it truly filling and slightly more substantial. Homemade and/or store bought breads, biscuits, crackers, and/or croutons make a delightful addition to soup. Shredded cheese can add tang, salt, and flavor when sprinkled on top of some soups. Even tortilla chips or strips can add crunch and variety to the same old soup.
Remember permission to be daring and different will get much futher than 100 soup cookbooks. Mostly enjoy, sample, and try again and again.