What I love about soup is that you can throw just about anything in the pot, and with the right seasonings, it'll all taste good! What a great way to clean out the pantry!
Now, there are a few things that my soup always needs to have. First is some form of meat. Now, I'm all for going meatless, but DH tends to feel a bit deprived if there's not some meat in the dish. So what I will do is take a small quantity of meat (I used one chicken breast on Saturday), and cut it up into teeny tiny pieces. Psychologically, it does the job.
Second, my new favorite seasoning: red wine vinegar. For two years,my soups have always been really bland, until about a month ago, when I tossed in some vinegar out of desperation. It really does the trick without adding extra salt!
Third is chicken or beef stock. It adds that je ne sais quoi.
Fourth thing I always add is beans, for the protein. This was actually the whole reason for Saturday's soup, because I've had a can of kidney beans forever that needed to be used.
What else was in my soup, you ask? Here's the run-down:
- 1 Chicken breast
- Canned tomatoes
- Kidney beans
- Corn (frozen)
- Broccoli (frozen)
- Carrots (found languishing in the crisper drawer)
- Alphabet noodles (another long-term pantry resident)
A couple things I've learned about making soup: I always saute the onions, garlic, and meat in oil first. This is also where I add the herbs and spices, so that it really infuses into the oil and the meat and packs the biggest flavor punch.
If I add pasta, I boil it separately until it's very well cooked, and add it at the very end. Otherwise, it will soak up all the liquid in the soup. Be prepared for this to happen with refrigerated leftovers!
Well, that's about I can think of for now. If you are blogging about your own pantry adventures, you can link your post here! Bon appetit!
The Use It Up, Wear It Out Saga: