Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fridge Purge Soup

I have some big projects around the house that I REALLY want to do.  Some are small like framing a map of the state of Texas on cork board so Breck and I can place map pins on each of the State Parks we visit.  Another is buying 4 Adirondack chairs for my back porch.  A few other projects are a bit larger like putting in a deck and stairs and knocking out a wall to make a room larger (more on that another day).  In order to accomplish these goals I need to save a little money here and there to meet the expenses.

One way I have been doing this is with my big cooking days (see Yes. More Cooking and Now to Put My Feet Up).  My grocery bill has gone down dramatically as has my dining out budget.  However, this week I found I had a few stray veggies, cream left over from making Bacon Cheddar Green Onion Scones, and chicken from Crock Pot Sunday Night Chicken that were all going to go to waste if I didn't use them, and my Fridge Purge Soup was born.

Really this is all about the base and anything you have can be used.  Here's what I had slowly dying in the refrigerator.

1 large carrot
2 stalks of celery
2/3 green pepper
1 bunch green onions
1/4 red onion
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
handful cherry tomatoes
3/4 bag frozen corn
2 cloves garlic
leftover chicken
1 1/3 cups heavy cream (can use milk, I just needed to get rid of the cream)
1 or so cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
6 Tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup flour
Salt and Pepper
2 teaspoons thyme (don't over do it or it will taste too earthy)
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (Tabasco or any other hot something can be used to give it a lift)

I melted 2 tablespoons of butter in a big pot and added all the veggies and garlic.  It took about 8 or 9 minutes to get the veggies a little soft.  Half the veggies than went into the blender (all the tomatoes go into the blender) and the other half in a bowl.

To the blender I added the chicken broth and frapped the heck out of it.  Back at the big pot, I added the last 4 tablespoons of butter, stirred until melted, and whipped in 1/4 cup of flour.  Stir, stir, stir until the flour is well blended.

Add a little of the cream or milk and stir a little more so there are no lumps.  Add the rest of the dairy, the veggies, the veggie puree, and some chopped left over chicken to the pot.  Add salt (it needs it), pepper, thyme, Cayenne or any other flavoring you would like tasting as you go.

Now I have more lunches to take to work over the next month, and I used up stuff that was just going to spoil.  Here is the math:  4 - 19.5 ounce soup lunches with stuff that was going to waste vs. 4 lunches out at about $5 each.

Yeah! One step closer to one of my projects.