Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Leftover Soup

How often have you looked at all those plastic containers of leftovers in your refrigerator and wondered just how many of them would qualify as a science class experiment? You’ve saved that last bit of green beans or roast beef with good intentions of being frugal and using them up, but a month later….well, they’re still there!

I have the solution for your dilemma! A healthy and easy meal made from all those leftover odds and ends. A quick meal that takes only minutes to prepare, yet costs almost nothing.

Your first step will be to empty the unidentified contents of all those containers down the garbage disposal. Wash and sanitize them and put away in the cabinet.

You will now start fresh with a large freezer container with a lid that will fit into the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. A plastic ice cream bucket or large plastic coffee can will work well. You will be taking the lid off an replacing it when the container is frozen, so it should be sturdy enough not to crack at cold temperatures.

From now on, whenever you have bits of meat or vegetables left over, you will place them in your freezer container. Leftover tomato soup or sauce can also be added, as can broth or clear gravies.

When your container is full, defrost in microwave just enough that you can get the “block” of leftovers out of the container and place in a large pan (a 6 quart dutch oven works well). Heat on low until completely thawed, then bring to a simmer on medium heat. Your “Leftover Soup” is now ready for the finishing touches. Season according to your own taste. Depending on the contents of your container, you may wish to add a few fresh ingredients such as some diced onion or celery or tomatoes.

We consider our “Leftover Soup” to be our free meal of the month, as all the ingredients would have otherwise most likely went to waste. It has also come in handy when we need a meal in a hurry, or when the cabinet is somewhat bare just before a grocery shopping trip

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