Homemade, No Recipe, Soup-Making 101

Hi there!

How many of you have leftover turkey, ham, vegetables or other foods from your Thanksgiving meal?  What do you plan to do with those things?…Cause’ there’s only so many sandwiches you can make.  :). 

What about turning some of the leftovers into soup/stew?  And not some scripted recipe, but rather a bit of experimentation.  I don’t know about you, but when I make these kinds of meals  my family really enjoys them…its like they know I had to think about this meal a bit more and they seem to appreciate the effort. 

There is a basic structure that lets you make great soup/stew (or other dishes) out of things you already have in your house.  I learned this trick from my mom and grandmothers growing up (they didn’t waste food) and was reminded of this “waste not, want not” attitude when I stumbled across a great book called “An Everlasting Meal – Cooking with Economy and Grace”.  The basic premise of the book is learning to use what you have to make really, really good food.  The basic structure I mentioned earlier is

  1. A healthy oil (butter, olive oil, etc.) – Warm over medium heat
  2. Aromatics (onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, etc) – Sauté until soft
  3. Items of your choosing (meat, vegetables) – Season and cook until done (or until hot if what you using was pre-cooked) 
  4. Liquid (water, broth, milk, etc) – Add liquid until contents are 3/4 covered.  If adding milk in addition to water or broth to make your soup creamy wait until the last five minutes of your cooking time so that it doesn’t curdle.
  5. Seasonings (salt, pepper, parsley,thyme, etc.) – Add seasonings to taste

To make the bread twists from my photo above:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a cookie sheet
  2. Thaw your puff pastry acccording to the directions on the box
  3. Cut them in strips and twisted them
  4. Brush them with an egg wash (1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
  5. Lightly sprinkle each twist with sea salt and parsley before baking.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the twists are nicely browned and puffed

You can jazz up the bread by adding in cheeses, changing the sea salt and parsley to butter and garlic, cinnamon and sugar, etc.  Go with your gut (literally) and you will probably be right.  🙂

I know the directions for the stew aren’t specific…that was on purpose.  I hope that you will take the general framework and try your hand at making your own version.  A few helpful tips though…if you want it more like stew add LESS liquid, but if you want it more like a soup add MORE liquid.  Remember that flavors get stronger the longer something cooks so be careful with the salt…you can always add more near the end, but it is really hard to “un-salt” a dish once it is cooked in.

If you decide to experiement please check back in and tell me how things went!  Also, if this post was helpful please like, post and share!


Author: The Habitual Creator

I am a corporate philanthropist by day and a creator by night. I live in the south with my sweet hubby and children. Since I was a little girl I have loved to create. It’s a passion that I hope my children will take with them into their adult lives because I really do believe having a creative outlet can keep one sane. I hope you will stop by often to see what's new and to chat with me about all things crafty and creative. You can expect posts to range from sewing to gardening and everything in between. See ya!

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