Mar 17 2008

Stretching a soup

Soup is such a wonderful food. You can add an extra vegetable here, a little more liquid there, and suddenly, a soup that could be one hearty meal turns into three.

Tonight, I pulled some frozen chicken & rice soup from our freezer. It was enough for two generous portions.

I put the frozen block of soup in a pan on the stove, and got to work stretching it out.

I added three chopped carrots, about four stalks of celery, and two chopped onions. I sprinkled on some extra seasonings, and let it simmer for a little while.

The effort was minimal, and the end result was absolutely delicious.

I had two heaping bowls of soup tonight, and my husband and I will eat the rest of it for lunch tomorrow. If I wanted to stretch it further, I could have added more water and some rice, and even more vegetables.

How do you stretch soup or other foods?

7 Responses to “Stretching a soup”

  1. I was just thinking about this very same topic! I was looking at “Dining on a Dime cook book” by Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper today. One of the great “stretcher” tips they had was this: every time you brown ground beef, put a couple of tablespoons in a container in your freezer. In just a week or two, you’ll have a “free” meal.

    I’ve also been known to stretch juice by adding water. Especially if it’s made from concentrate… just add an extra can of water and you’ve cut your just costs by 25 percent.

    Love your blog!

  2. I tend to eat rice with everything, so I found that eating soup with rice makes you full faster and uses less soup. I should add that I usually prefer to use soup as a “gravy” on my rice, unless of course it’s completely smooth in which case I’ll have it as a side dish.

  3. Very inspiring. i should make soup soon!

  4. wow if the soup can make it easier, but are we still need the bread :?:

  5. As Christina said, I buy the frozen juice concentrates and add more water than the packages suggests, resulting in more juice. Another tip: My husband loves fettuccine alfredo, and I buy the canned alfredo sauce. I’ll add milk or (if I have it on hand) heavy cream to the sauce while heating it up to stretch it out over more meals.

  6. I wrote about my soup-making a while ago :)

    Soup tends to be my frugal scrap meal – no two are the same, it seems! I buy whole fryers at the market for no more than $.69/lb and cook up the meat. I usually eat the wings that evening (they’re best hot), a thigh each for the next two days, and then a final meal of drumsticks. The breasts are pulled off and frozen in four packages.

    The carcass, however, is boiled to DEATH for the stock that it makes, along with a bay leaf, herbs from the garden (mine or my mother’s), the tops of carrots, parsnips, the bottoms and heals of lettuce, cucumbers, onions and peppers, and whatever other scraps I’ve kept over the last few days.

    I freeze the broth in ice cube trays and then empty them into freezer bags so I can defrost just enough to have with whatever I’m making.

    Soups are easy – Toss in whatever veggies I have in the fridge, including leftovers from previous side dishes, use up that last bit of milk before it goes bad, a handful of brothcubes, some of the leftover chicken breast. Generally, I have leftover rice or noodles from one night or another (another GREAT reason to not mix your spaghetti noodles and sauce when putting away leftovers) and I toss that in too.

    I’ve even been known to add that last half-glass of orange juice that I meant to finish three days ago but has been sitting on the top shelf in my fridge.

    Soup is the ultimate food frugality tool and it’s also a great meal to have at the end of the week on the night that you clean out the fridge. Anything that can be eaten or is almost dead goes in the pot! Freeze whatever soup’s left and you can add it to the next round or defrost for tomorrow’s lunch.

  7. About adding rice/noodles/barley to soups.

    Tip: Always cook these ingredients on the side and add a bit to each soup bowl. This way you never have to deal with eating soup with soggy rice/ noodles etc.

    Also allows family members to have as little or as much of these in “their” soup as they want.

    If you make extra of these you can also save them in the fridge to use in another dish if you like.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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