Endless Soup for Warm Nutrition

 by Tammy Taylor

Around the Taylor household, breakfast is usually very light – for me it often involves homemade yogurt sweetened with honey & berries.  Lunch is also very informal and really only for our sustenance. (the only planned recipe eat-together meal we have is our evening supper.)

Typically for summertime lunches RancherMan & I usually just grab a quick sandwich of some kind. But in the wintertime I hunger for something a little more substantial, and something hot.  I enjoy soups in the winter and this year I’ve been a crazy dehydrating fool. So I’ve got all kinds of dehydrated veggies from the garden to nourish us – onions, squash, cabbage, carrots, potatoes & green beans among others.  And I also have lots of dehydrated herbs from my garden like thyme, sage and oregano.  So putting this soup together is fun, but the really fun part is – this is perpetual soup!

I love a hearty meat/veggie soup, this endless soup fits the bill quite nicely, is cheap, healthy & keeps us in soup lunches for a week #TexasHomesteader

Assembling the Soup

I start with a base, usually by cooking some kind of meat seasoned with onions and garlic. Then I start assembling my soup.  After draining the meat I’ll add in the other ingredients – homemade stock (whatever I have in the freezer – chicken, turkey, beef or veggie) to get the broth base going.  Then I’ll add in the veggies. and typically follow this pattern: I use what needs to be eaten from the fridge first, then any fresh veggies we have, then home-canned, frozen or dehydrated, and finally purchased canned vegetables.

What To Use Up First

So I begin my veggie additions by raiding the fridge for leftover veggies from last night’s meal or whatever I find. Then Iadd several different varieties of fresh or preserved veggies. And lastly I add a handful of rice.  I love a brothy soup but Rancherman prefers less broth, so by adding a handful of rice the excess broth is soaked up.

When the soup is finally comprised of all the ingredients I like, I simmer it until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes and we enjoy a steaming bowl of soup for lunch.  Today I chopped up my re-sprouting green onions & celery tops & stirred them in right at the end of the cooking time – Dee-Licious!  I like to toast some rye bread to go with it – it’s a very hearty meal.

I love a hearty meat/veggie soup, this endless soup fits the bill quite nicely, is cheap, healthy & keeps us in soup lunches for a week #TexasHomesteaderReplenishing The Soup Pot

When we’re finished with lunch the remaining soup is stored in the fridge. The next day when lunchtime rolls around I’ll pull out the soup and stir in a can of veggies, juice & all.  This adds another serving to the soup & I love the blending of flavors that it causes.

Then we repeat each day until close to the end of the week when I stop adding new veggies to the pot and we just finish consuming the soup that remains.

So at first it’s pretty meat-heavy, a favorite for RancherMan. But as the week progresses it gets more veggie heavy, my fave.  So we’re both pacified, not to mention fed healthy meals.

But the beauty of this system is that the soup:

  1. Makes use of anything waiting to be eaten so it doesn’t go to waste,
  2. Is different every time based on what’s available in the freezer/fridge/pantry,
  3. Has so much less salt & preservatives than soup that’s purchased in the store and
  4. Made right in your own kitchen for just pennies!

I’ve heard of doing something similar by having a special container in the freezer where everything leftover after supper gets added until it’s full enough to make soup.  I’ve done that too and although it works well, this method keeps RancherMan & me in bone-warming soup lunches all week long.  Plus it’s resulted very little actual kitchen time – you KNOW I love that!

UPDATE:  Endless soup isn’t just for winter nutrition, it can be enjoyed in the summer months too!  I’m adding extra veggies to my diet & putting the excess garden veggies to good use by making an endless summer-vegetable soup. Today I used vegetable broth to rehydrate my dehydrated cabbage & purple onions and also to lightly cook fresh summer squash, zucchini, green beans, asparagus beans, chopped tomatoes and a small handful of whole wheat pasta to soak up the extra broth. I stirred in some chopped fresh basil & sage too.

Now none of my fresh, healthy garden produce is going to waste.  And my lunches for the week are heat-n-eat fast!

~TxH~

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58 thoughts on “Endless Soup for Warm Nutrition

  1. Pingback: Homestead Hack: Don't Waste Onion Trimmings!

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  4. Keri

    I love making soup with whatever we have on hand, especially to use up fresh produce. It drives me crazy when all the broth is gone the next day. You have a great idea for making leftovers into something new.

    Reply
  5. Amy | Canary Street Crafts

    I really love this idea! I’m fairly new to growing my own veggies, dehydrating, and trying to reduce our use of processed ingredients, and I feel like I learn something new every time I visit your website. Thank you so much for linking up with us at Your Turn To Shine!!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ve had a veggie garden for about as long as I can remember, it’s just in my blood. But I’m relatively new to the dehydarting scene. It’s addictive – I’m loving it! ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. JES

    Thank you for sharing this post on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! It has been *featured* this week 🙂

    http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-art-of-home-making-mondays-please_22.html

    Reply
  7. Ann Marie Mones

    Great idea! It is hard to find time to cook a healthy meal from scratch every day. So the idea of making a great soup once, and adding to it all week, making it different each day is wonderful! I usually cook once or twice each week, have left overs the next day, and freeze the rest in individual serving containers for future reference. I like your idea better as nothing in the fridge will go to waste!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      We love it Ann Marie – and although the soup’s made fresh each week, all winter long there’s a crock of soup in the fridge for quick heat-n-eat lunches. Right now it’s a pretty spicy version of taco soup and I’m loving it but I’ve already stopped adding new veggies to it & it will be gone in a couple of days. But next week’s soup will probably be flavored with Italian seasonings. I change it each week to a new theme. ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. Angie

    This sounds wonderful and is making me hungry! Varying the soup every day and giving it a little different flavor will keep it interesting plus it’s a perfect way to use what you’ve grown in your garden during the summer. AND it’s super healthy! What more could anyone ask for? I will give this a try! Thank you for posting!!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      It’s a great way to enjoy a hot meal on a cold day and add veggies to your diet as well. Plus like you say it changes it up and keeps it interesting. Plus our lunches are always a quick fend-for-yourself affair and there’s not many meals quicker than heating up a bowl of soup. This certainly works well in the Taylor Household – give it a try. ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Karen

    This is a fantastic idea, and I love how it lends the opportunity to use things up and get a little different flavor each day. It makes me want to head to the kitchen and get a big pot of soup going.
    I’m sure it’s so satisfying to used the veggies and herbs you worked so hard to preserve last summer.
    Thanks so much for sharing and bringing your post to Wake Up Wednesday.
    Pinning, Tweeting, & Sharing on FB.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Of course each person should use their best judgement based on the freshness of the ingredients they’re adding Laura, but I typically keep mine going for about 5 days. The soup’s meat heavy early in the week but by the end of the week there’s not much meat left & the soup’s pretty veggie heavy at that point. And since I’m pulling out of it every day and then adding veggies to it every day it’s always worked beautifully for us. ~TMR~

      Reply
  10. JES

    Good morning! I wanted to feature this post on Monday (for the Art of Home-Making Mondays) and wonder if you can email your top photo for that? If you don’t share photos then I understand, I will feature without one 🙂 If you do, I am pleasewritetojes@hotmail.com

    Take care and thank you for sharing this 🙂

    Reply
  11. JES

    Ah, this is the way we cook in our home to make our lifestyle doable! I loved reading that other people out there are stretching and embracing leftovers instead of preparing gourmet meals each night (who has the time and finances for that kind of food on a working farm?). Thanks for spreading this idea and sharing it on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Nancy, my soup lasts about 5 days (depending upon how much meat is in it.) Although it starts out pretty meat-heavy, there’s not much meat in the soup by the end of the week, it’s mostly veggie at that point. ~TMR~

      Reply
  12. CTY

    At our house I solved the problem of our different soup preferences (he likes his salty & stew-like; I like more herbs, plenty of broth & loaded with vegetables). I make a large pot of soup base very much like you do, but split the soup between 2 pots. I then add specifics to each pot to customize. This works very well for us–the daily additions to the pots are also customized.

    Reply
  13. ColleenB.

    Your soup looks Amazingly Wonderful.
    You can do almost anything with soup stock, it’s like a strong foundation. When you have the right foundation, everything tastes good.

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Fall-Back Friday: Endless Soup

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    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I enjoy freezer soup as well Linda. When we still had kids living at home that method was a great way to make sure those small amounts leftover from supper (that would not be enough for all 6 of us at a later meal) wouldn’t get wasted. ~TMR~

      Reply
  16. Jenny

    We love a good pot of soup! I try to make a pot once a week for dinner and then we use the leftovers for lunch. Thanks for sharing this with us at the HomeAcre Hop!

    Reply
  17. Kathy

    Love this idea – we eat a lot of soup – I’ll give your idea a try! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

    Reply
  18. Sandra

    I love soup, especially when it is cold! I wish spring would come and we could move on to salads though 🙂
    Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop!

    Reply
  19. Diane

    Thank you! You’ve just solved my dinner meal planning for weeks I know will be busy ones. I’m sharing this on my Facebook page.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Awesome Diane, thanks! Although I love veggies and eat them often, who doesn’t want to put more veggies in their daily nutrition? This has been a very positive thing for our household – easy & nutritious. ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL Sandra. I guess I’m really an off-the-cuff kinda cook – whatever sounds good in whatever quantities look right. I’ll usually follow a new recipe a couple of times but I think I must be genetically unable to stick to a recipe. 🙂 It’s served me well though since it gives me the flexibility to use whatever I happen to have in the fridge/pantry/freezer. ~TMR~

      Reply
  20. Megin

    Your soup looks delicious! I love soup and this long, cold Chicago winter that won’t end is the perfect season for it.
    I’m visiting from Wonderful Wednesday Link Party. I would be so honored if you would share this at Brag About It Link Party on VMG206.

    http://www.vmg206.com/2014/02/brag-about-it-link-party-no-43-vmg206.html

    ~ Megin of VMG206

    Reply
  21. Chelsea

    My husband does something similar with his crock-pot stew, but I–the soupmaker of the family– have never tried this. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Yes, this has been very helpful to us as well – plus many of us are trying to put more servings of veggies in our daily diet. I love veggies & eat them daily but usually not at lunch until I started making weekly endless soup. ~TMR~

      Reply
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  23. Joyce @ It's Your Life

    I love the idea of saving leftovers in the freezer for a soup. I started saving scrapes of veggies to make a broth, I’ll have to start doing this also. I agree with Rancher Man, a nice hearty soup with not a lot of broth is my kind of stoup, no not a typo. That is what we call a soup that is more like a stew, thanks for sharing this on Tuesdays With a Twist.

    Reply
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  25. Buttons

    Oh I have always made endless soup and here on the farm it is a satisfying meal that gives us all the we need to sustain our busy days. Love rye bead with mine too. B

    Reply

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