Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pantry Challenge Soup

I always used to do my grocery shopping on a Monday. The pantry was "empty" after a weekend of eating, cooking and baking, and it was great to get the kids out of the house on a Monday morning to stave off post-weekend boredom. A few months ago however, I read a post on Stay at Home Mum's blog that suggested shopping every 8 days instead of weekly, as a money-saving tip. The theory is that you'll buy the same amount of groceries whether you shop weekly or every 8 days. I'm particularly frugal and always up for a bit of money saving, so I've been applying this for a few months now and find it fairly effective.

With that as background, I often set myself a "pantry challenge" to use up some of the forgotten ingredients in the pantry or the sadder looking vegetables in the fridge. Today I cleaned out the fridge and made a Pantry Challenge Soup. Use anything you have on hand, that's the point. No shopping required, or allowed! Here is the recipe for today's soup:

1 carrot
2 turnips
3 celery stalks
2 medium potatoes
1 onion
1 zucchini
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 litres vegetable stock (I used stock made from Massel Ultracubes)

  1. Chop vegetables into small pieces. Note: I blended my soup so wasn't particularly careful with the size and shape of my pieces, but if you rather a chunky soup you could chop them into pretty cubes.
  2. Crush or grate garlic and add.
  3. Add stock and tomato paste, stir.
  4. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer until veges are soft (about half an hour).
  5. Whiz with a stick blender, or don't, and serve with chopped parsley and bread.

You can add some fancy ingredients if you have them on hand, but I find the combination of tomato paste and vegetable stock is all this soup requires. Hubby prefers his soup blended, but if I were going to leave it chunky I would have added some pasta about 15 minutes into the simmer. To add to the frugal nature of this dinner, I ate it with sliced bread and butter, but you could easily dress this soup up with a crusty baguette if you're entertaining.

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