Friday, August 31, 2007
If you're like me, sometimes you get to the end of the month and you need to wait till payday to get groceries. Now I'm very blessed, and we always have something in the house to eat and plenty of it, but often by the end of the month it is just getting a little...boring. I guess that's the price you pay for getting groceries monthly.
Anyway, I was looking for something a little different to make using what I had, and someone in the blogosphere mentioned vegetable soup. Perfect! Cheap, easy, and I had everything I needed. And the thing is, that even if your cupboard is looking like Mother Hubbards, most of us keep these basic ingredients around. Since fall is around the corner (well, not here, but everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere), this is a great thing to make anyway.
Here's what you'll need.
Vegetables. Frozen mixed veggies, canned mixed veggies (like Veg-All), or best of all, the wilting carrots, celery, zucchini, or whatever, and sprouting potatoes that need to be used before they spoil, with a can of green beans and/or corn thrown in for good measure.
Tomato product of some kind. Almost anything works. The goal is just to make a nice tomato-ey broth. Canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, V-8, fresh peeled and chopped tomatoes, or even salsa (for Mexican veggie soup) or spaghetti sauce (for an Italian flair).
An onion, or onion powder, or dehydrated onion flakes.
Salt, pepper, parsley, bay leaves and whatever other seasonings you fancy.
And here's how you make it.
Pour the mixed veggies in a big pot, or chop the fresh ones. If you're using fresh, just start with hard vegetables like carrots and add the fast-cooking ones a little later.
Add tomato product. If you're using juice, you don't necessarily need to add water. If you aren't using juice, add enough water to cover everything nicely. Add onions and seasonings, and simmer till the veggies are soft enough to your liking and everything looks yummy. Eat with crackers or, best of all, fresh homemade bread or cornbread, which is also cheap and takes just a few staple ingredients! Yummmm!!!
Oh, and if you want you can add a bit of meat with the veggies--whatever you have on hand. Stew meat, ground beef, ham, sausage, whatever. Then it's not veggie soup, but a bit heartier for the men in our midst.