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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Frugal Kitchens 101 - The Never Ending Soup Pot

Frugal Kitchens 101
Quite some time ago I participated in a frugal group where frugal ideas were shared.  One of the frugal ideas was the never ending soup pot.  This is not in any way a new concept.  Our ancestors, well at least my ancestors used this method well before the great land of Canada was born.  My seventh great grandfather was born on what would become Canadian soil in 1721, his father arriving in 1703 from France.   My favourite grands I've researched are my third great grandparents.  I have listings as to what was in the larder, what foods they had in barrels and what foods were stored for winter as well as what they were growing.  What I found quite interesting is they lived within a stones throw of the Great Lakes waterway but had no fish in barrels meaning they likely fished year round much the same as I do.  What I do know from the research is they had a never ending soup pot.  This was a common practice in the 1800's and one that is still in practice today.

A never ending soup pot really means that the leftover bones and meat from Sunday's dinner are turned into stock on Monday.  Leftover vegetables are added.  During the week the soup is used for lunch but any leftover dinner meats or vegetables or legumes are added to the pot. It is simply an age old way of using up leftovers.  In modern times many frugalistas keep a container in the freezer that they add leftovers to so soup can be made when the container is filled. While I have done this in the past it is not my preferred method.

I keep bones, any bones (not bones someone has eaten off of) specifically for making stocks and soups.  A stock (meat and bones) makes a richer, deeper flavoured soup than a broth (meat only).  When I get enough bones of one particular meat I roast them.  Roasting deepens the flavour and colour.  Once roasted I make stock.  That stock is divided with a quarter towards the soup pot for the week and three quarters home canned for later use.  Sometimes I simply use one of the pressure cookers to make stock.  With stock all I need is seasonings, vegetables, meat and either rice or pasta.  The neat thing with soup is you don't need a lot of any one ingredient, all you need is a bit of stock, which is why it was our ancestors had a never ending soup pot.

Honestly, bones you were going to toss anyway because they can't be composted are easily turned into stock.  Add leftovers and build on that for very frugal, ultra cheap soups that are sure to please.  The average homemade soup will come in at under 50¢ per serving.  That makes homemade soups extremely frugal and true budget stretchers.  So haul out those stock pot, quickly make the stock then let your imagination soar.  Use leftovers or a combination of leftovers and added ingredients base on you whim.  Have fun with making soups.  Your tummy and pocket book with thank-you!

1 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

Now I know what the difference between broth and stock is.
So I have been making stock. :)

Thanks for this post, too, GG.