The Art of Soup Creation

Soups are so easy to make! They are healthy, and you can add just about anything to them. Experiment to see what your favorites will be.

A big pot is best, so you can have plenty of leftovers. Covered and placed in the fridge it’ll last a good 4 or 5 days, and you can freeze some of the soup as well.

I use leftovers first when making a soup, then add to the pot if the need be. If the leftovers are frozen, they don’t really need to be thawed. This process will happen just fine during the cooking period, so no worries.

Here is the basic process of making a soup:

  • Go through the refrigerator to see what needs to be used up, leftovers or not. I’m usually looking for meats, broth, stock, and vegetables.
  • Go through your freezer. Again, leftover meats and vegetables that have already been chopped and cooked, as well as stock or broth if you didn’t have any (or enough!) in the refrigerator.
  • If it looks like there will still be room in the pot, look in your pantry or food cupboards. Is there anything you’d like to add to the soup?
  • Start by placing the pot on a big burner, and pouring in about an inch of broth or stock. Turn the heat on high, and allow to warm.
  • Add any frozen foods when the stock or broth is warm, then chop fresh vegetables and add to the pot.
  • Brown any meat you want to add, unless it was already cooked. If pre-cooked, just add it straight to the pot.
  • Add any other leftovers from the refrigerator.
  • Add more stock or broth if necessary, to cover the food.
  • Once the liquid is boiling, turn the heat to medium-high and continue to cook. Most of the foods will probably be warmed through by now. If not, no worries. Continue cooking. The longer you cook, the more the foods flavors will mingle.
  • About 30 minutes before you’re done cooking the soup, add any canned foods you want to use.
  • Add and any herbs you like 10 minutes later.
  • Cook for 20 minutes and you are done.

There are so many combinations of ingredients that will work. Try using different ones each time you make the soup, mix things up a bit, writing a new recipe out each time.

Try this simple combination for a small pot of soup, following the steps above:

chicken stock

diced carrot

sugar snap peas in pods

chicken or turkey

parsley

Tips

Serving Suggestions

  • An excellent way to add more nutrients to a meal is to serve a side salad. Try a fruit salad with this soup.

Happy cooking!

Shannon

Leftover Thanksgiving Soup with a Harvest Salad.

There’s nothing quite like Thanksgiving leftovers. How will you use them up this year? By deciding what leftover dishes you want to make now, you’ll know how big a bird to buy.

This soup is easy and affordable to make.

Ingredients

leftover turkey, cut into bite size pieces

leftover peas

leftover green beans

leftover carrots

vegetable broth, or turkey broth made from the Thanksgiving turkey

  • Place everything in a pot.
  • Cook over med-high heat until all is cooked through.

Tips

  • Use whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand.
  • When taking the turkey off the bone, cut a good amount of the leftover turkey into bite-size pieces. Place these in freezer containers by portion sizes, according to the dishes you want to make. Label, and freeze.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Making Soup with the Bestest: Missy’s Vegetable Soup

This post was supposed to have been published last winter, but I am horribly late.

I spent a few days with the bestest. She needed some healing time, and I went stay with her. It is difficult to watch your best friend go through some things. I ran errands with her, helped with the daily cleaning activities, and was just there for support when she needed it, when I wasn’t at work.

One night, she decided to make a soup with a bunch of different ingredients, and agreed that I could share the process with my readers. So many people had brought food during this time, that we needed to use up what we could so nothing went bad.

This is such a great recipe because you can use whatever you have on hand, even leftovers from other meals or a get-together. Or whatever you can find cheap at the grocery store. There is no set amount of any ingredient, because you are using up what you have on hand. The recipe can be changed up according to what is available.

Ingredients

olive oil

leftovers from a vegetable tray: Carrots and celery

red and yellow peppers

chicken/vegetable broth

water

grape or cherry tomatoes

corn

peas

thyme

basil

minced onion

  1. I heated some olive oil in a large pot while I chopped some baby carrots into thirds, and added the carrots to the pot as she collected the rest of the ingredients we would need.
  2. Then I cut celery into about 1/2 inch sections, sliced in half the long way, and added them to the pot, stirring everything together.
  3. Next I de-seeded and chopped a few each of the red and yellow peppers. I never cook with peppers because I do not like them, but the bestest said it is a good idea to get rid of the seeds. I took her word for it. I added the chopped peppers and stirred it all again, letting everything cook until I could get a fork into the carrots.
  4. Then we added a little broth to cover everything and continued to sauté. The main thing is to sauté the harder vegetables before adding the softer ones.
  5. We chopped the tomatoes into fourths, adding them to the pot, and heated everything for couple of minutes.
  6. Next she added the rest of the broth to the pot, as well as the peas and corn. Missy says to add some water if you want to stretch the liquid further, or if you want to lessen the broth taste.
  7. Then she added a little more olive oil.
  8. Cook this for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

9. Add the seasonings and heat for a few more minutes.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

Photograph by Melissa Ackley-Thompson copyright 2015.Missy does note that she tries to use organic and natural ingredients when she can. And that she will use fresh, canned, or frozen vegetables, whatever is available when she wants to make a soup. This soup can be different each time you make it, so be creative.

Once this soups starts to boil, it smells amazing!

Tips

  • To save money, use produce from your own garden.
  • Grow herbs in pots on a windowsill or on the porch to save more.
  • Shop sales or roadside stands.
  • If you have a store coupon, this recipe could end up costing next to nothing.
  • Make your own broth.

Serving Suggestions

  • It is important to have a protein source along with all the vegetables. Maybe a few slices of chicken, or even a couple of hard-boiled eggs on the side.

Enjoy! And please share with us the results of soups you try on your own.

Shannon

 

 

Cooking for 1: Pre-Roasted Chicken

You know those already roasted chickens you buy at the grocery store? I picked one up last week for $4.99. These chickens are not large, but you can do a lot with them. This is what I did with mine:

Day 1

I also bought a pre-made salad that day, because I was on my way to work. Dinner was why I was at the store. I would need something for my break at work. That something turned out to be the salad, with a couple of slices of chicken breast from the roaster.

Day 2

For lunch, I decided to make a one-pan meal, using some of the chicken meat, vegetables, and seasoning.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015.Chicken and Potato One-Pan Meal

Day 3

This is the day I put the roaster chicken into the slow cooker. Covering it with water. I let this cook down, meat, skin, and bones, all day on low, then I spooned some of the liquid and meat into a bowl for a tasty, simple soup. I took the rest of the meat and put it into a saucepan, covering it with liquid from the crock, covered the pot and placed it into the refrigerator. And I poured some of the liquid into small canning jars to use later. A couple of these went into the freezer, a couple more in the fridge to use throughout the week.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015.Simple Chicken Soup

Day 4

I added some vegetables to the saucepan of chicken, and simmered until hot.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015.Simple Chicken Soup + Vegetables

***

I was able to get 4 meals out of that chicken, as well as 4 small canning jars of broth. Not bad, and the other ingredients were leftovers from other meals, or leftover ingredients that were not needed when making the other meals. This saved me money on meals for the week.

Not bad.

What can you do with a roaster chicken? How do you stretch it out?

Let us know in the comments below, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I respond to all emails.

Shannon

Simple Chicken Soup + Vegetables

My Nan used to make chicken soup however you wanted it. She knew each person liked specific things, and would make the soup to suit us when we were sick. There are so many ways to make chicken soup, anyone can have a version they like.

I like mine made different ways, depending on the day, my mood, and what I have on hand.

If you made the Simple Chicken Soup, use some of the leftovers to make this one.

Ingredients

Simple Chicken Soup

1 small carrot

6-10 sugar snap peas in pods

  1. Pour some of the Simple Chicken Soup into a saucepan. Heat on medium.
  2. Chop a small carrot, and cut the pea pods into halves or thirds.
  3. Add the vegetables to the pot and cook until food is heated through. (I like my vegetables on the crispier side, so I do not cook this very long.)

Tips

  1. Use vegetables that were not needed from other meals to save money.
  2. Try different vegetables, according to what you have on hand. This will also save money.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a side salad of greens.
  • Serve with a side of apple slices.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

Simple Chicken Soup

This is the easiest soup ever, and is made when I am low on food and funds during a given week.

The base:

1 pre-cooked roaster chicken, on the bone, with the skin on, remove the string holding the legs together.

water

  1. Place a pre-roasted chicken in the slow cooker, and cover with water.
  2. Cover and cook on low 6 hours or high 2 or 3 hours. (Feel free to cook longer if you have the time.)
  3. Let cool so you can handle to bird.
  4. Strain the stock into canning jars leaving an inch of head space, cover, and store in the refrigerator. If the liquid wont be used right off, freeze it. This can also be done right in the canning jars.
  5. Pick as much meat from the bird as you can, freezing what you wont use right away.

The soup

chicken in the pot from above

cilantro

seal salt

pepper

  1. Remove the meat pieces from the crock and place them into a pot.
  2. Cover the chicken with liquid from the crock.
  3. Cover and cook on medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, adding the seasonings to taste toward the end.
  4. While this is cooking, fill canning jars with the remaining liquid from the crock – leaving some space at the top of each jar. Cool for a bit, cover, and freeze what you wont use this week. Refrigerate the rest.
  5. Discard the carcass and the skin.
  6. Spoon some into a bowl, reserving the rest for later.

Tips

  • This can be done in a large pot if a slow cooker is not available.
  • Experiment with different seasonings.
  • Grow your own herbs to save money.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a side salad of greens, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and shredded zucchini.
  • Serve with a vegetarian sandwich on Paleo bread.

See also:

Enjoy!

Shannon

Pineapple, Chicken-Beef Soup

Previously I posted my Pineapple Kielbasa Soup. It is a tasty recipe that does not require much prep time.

The recipe in this post is almost the same, but I used two different types of sausage: Chicken and Beef. The combination made for a delicious soup this time around as well. I was pleased.

Ingredients

20 ounce can of pineapple chunks, or you could use a fresh pineapple

13-16 ounces of beef sausage, cut into bite size pieces

13-16 ounces of chicken sausage, cut into bite size pieces

water or chicken stock

desired herbs, such as parsley

  1. Put the pineapples into the slow cooker. If it is canned pineapple, the juice can go in with it.
  2. Add the sausage and enough water or stock to fill the slow cooker 1/2 to 2/3 full.
  3. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or on high 4 hours.
  4. 10 minutes before serving, and any herbs desired.

Tips

  • Purchase store brand canned pineapple and corn to save money.
  • Use home canned versions to save more.
  • Try other types of sausage for something new.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve this soup with a side salad of greens and cherry tomatoes.

Shannon

Tasty Beef Soup

Don’t know about you, but I love soups. Each winter I try to come up with one or two new variations. This is what I came up with a couple weeks back. Let me know what you think, and try some of your own recipes.

Ingredients

2 pounds beef stew meat

4 russet potatoes, rinsed and chopped into bite size pieces

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

2 carrots, rinsed with tops cut off

1 can diced tomatoes, with juices

1 can vegetable or beef broth

2 tablespoons basil

water, if necessary

  1. Place the root vegetables in the crock of a slow cooker.
  2. Put the meat on top, then pour the can of tomatoes over everything.
  3. Add the can of broth, then use water to fill the crock about 2/3 full.
  4. Cook on low 4-5 hours, or on high about 3 hours.
  5. About 20 minutes before you are done cooking, add the basil and give the soup a good stirring.

Tips

  • Try different vegetables, such as turnip or parsnip.
  • Grow what you can in your garden to save money.
  • Grow herbs on a windowsill year round.
  • Save money by using the potato skins and carrot tops for something else.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a salad of greens and cucumbers.
  • Use the carrot tops in smoothies, salads, or like an herb to flavor other dishes.
  • Use the potato skins to make sour cream and chive topped potato skins. (I don;t eat sour cream often, but do consider it a treat once in a while.)

Shannon

Turkey Soup with Pineapple

A cheap meal when you don’t have a lot of ingredients on hand. This one is made in the slow cooker.

Any type of potato or squash you like. The key is to have an affordable meal.

Turkey Soup with Pineapple

Serves 3-4

Will keep in the refrigerator a couple of days, at least.

Ingredients

1/2 – l  pound shredded turkey

1 large sweet potato

1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, with liquid

3 cups water or vegetable stock.

Fresh mint

  1. Place the first 4 ingredients into the slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle with mint and cover.
  3. Cook on low 4 hours, or on high 3 hours.

Tips

  • Save money buy using leftover turkey and homemade stock.
  • Growing your own mint will also save you money.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve this soup with a vegetable salad.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

 

Easy Turkey Soup

I started the Whole30 plan today, and have to come up with new recipe versions, and sometimes completely new recipes. You will benefit from this, in that I’m going to share each of the recipes here on the blog.

This turkey recipe is a new one for me. One I thought up and threw together just this evening. The parsley I grow fresh in a pot on the table. The recipe is giving me 2 servings, that I’ll serve along with vegetables in the form of a salad/ vegetable slices.

Ingredients

1 cup shredded leftover turkey (reserve any bones and skin for making homemade turkey stock.)

1/2 of an acorn squash

1 carrot

water or homemade stock

fresh parsley

  1. Put the shredded turkey in a slow cooker.
  2. Peel the squash and cut into chunks. Add these to the slow cooker.
  3. Wash the carrot and cut the ends off. Cut into rounds and add to the slow cooker. Reserve the ends for making homemade stock.
  4. Pour just enough water or homemade stock over the ingredients to cover.
  5. Cook on high for 2-3 hours, until you can easily stick a fork through the vegetables.

Tips

  • Try different herbs, which can be grown on a windowsill so you don’t have an added expense.
  • Try growing your own vegetables to save money.
  • Use canned turkey if you prefer.
  • Add a tablespoon of coconut oil if desired. A good way to get some good fat if you are also doing the Whole30.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with cucumber and carrot slices.

Enjoy!

Shannon