Saturday, November 1, 2008

Practicing Soups

Living at a reduced burn rate like I am, making food dollars stretch is imperative.

Hence soups.

The years of livin' large has gotten us spoiled. We want to see a large hunk of meat sitting on our plate with a token amount of vegetables. We then consume it in one sitting, then go sit in front of the television in a satiated torpor, kind of like a meat-drunk wolf.

Well, having performed the aforementioned countless times, it is with a tear and a sigh of regret that I bid it goodbye (except for holidays). Gotta buckle down and live lean. That means meat is a treat and most meals are going to be the same kind of stuff that my Nonno and Nonna used to eat. Soups and bread, polenta and cabbage, thin slices of cured meat, some dried fish, pasta.

It isn't going to be a burden. You just have to stop thinking that you are "too busy" to do a little cooking for yourself and your family. Folks, the cold reality is, you are going to be doing with a lot less money soon, so all the inconsequential shit you have been cramming into your days are going to fade with the contents of your wallets and the imaginary value of your homes.

So today is vegetable soup. I went out and stocked up on some smaller cans of the dehydrated vegetables at Healthy Harvest (these are great folks). I started this last week and have come up with a good basic recipe.

Po' Prepper Soup

First thing in the morning, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil and dump in the following:
  • handful of dried peas
  • handful of dried corn
  • handful of dried potato dices
  • handful of dried carrots
  • half a handful of dried onions
  • handful of dried mushrooms
  • half a handful of dried peppers
  • handful of beans
  • some boullion or dried soup mix
Put the lid back on and turn off the heat. Leave the pot on the still hot burner and go away for about eight hours.

When you get back from work, cube up a half a pound or so of cheap meat. Fry up a good handful of salt pork or bacon to get some fat, and brown the meat in the fat from the salt pork/bacon. When it is brown, add oregano, basil, sage, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and about 2 tablespoons of flour to the cooked meat and brown for another couple of minutes.

Dump the meat into the now-rehydrated vegetables from the morning and turn on the stove to low. Cook the soup for a couple hours and do the rest of your chores. Now is a good time to bake some bread.


1 comment:

vlad said...

One of my favourite meals is chili.
Fry 1.5 lbs ground beef chuck. Add one 15 oz can Ranch Style beans with jalapenos. Season to taste wth chili powder, ground cayenne, yellow curry and turmeric.
I eat canned jalapenos with chili.