Soup’s On!

This week I made two kinds of soup, including the stock for both of them. I started making my own stock last year and I have yet to find a reason to go back to purchasing it. I save a couple hundred dollars a year by making it myself and the best part is that I know exactly what’s in it. I also feel like I am being more conservative with my waste. My method of making stock is the scrap method. I keep a container in my freezer and add all my vegetable scraps and/or meat bones. You can throw onion and garlic skins in as well! Once the container is full, I make a new batch of stock. Each batch yields about 4-5 quarts and keeps for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. Once the container is nearly full, I start to reserve the liquid from beans and other canned vegetables to add substance and flavor. I have saved pasta/potato/sweet potato water and that works well also.

Vegetable Stock

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To start use a large pot and heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the contents of the container to the pot and cook for about 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

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Add 5 quarts of water to the pot as well as your liquid reserves. Left over pasta sauce, tomato paste, or salsa works well as a base. Add some seasoning. I used salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, and onion powder.

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Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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To strain, remove large pieces and transfer from one container to another 2-3 times or until strainer is clean.

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This batch yielded 16 cups or 4 quarts of liquid.

Sweet Potato Leek Soup

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I used this stock to make my Sweet Potato Leek Soup.

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Ingredients:
4 cups vegetable stock
2 yams skinned
2 leeks
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tsp ground sage
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

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Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot. Saute the leek until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato, liquid, and spices. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

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Strain liquid and add 1 cup liquid back to the solids. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Add liquid until the soup is the desired consistency. I used all the liquid, but if there are leftovers, reserve for a future recipe.

Chicken Noodle Soup

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Last but not least, I made a chicken noodle soup. I made a simple broth using the chicken and vegetable scraps from these ingredients.

Ingredients:
4-6 oz chicken
1-2 quarts water
1 leek
1/2 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup mini spaghetti noodles
Basil
Oregano
Rosemary
Salt
Pepper

Chop vegetables and blanch until tender and liquid is reduced. Set aside.

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Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add chicken and vegetable scraps. Add salt and pepper. At a light boil, cook chicken for 10 minutes or until juice runs clear when chicken is pierced.

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While chicken is cooking, cook noodles as until aldente; approximately 8 minutes.

Remove chicken and chop into bite size pieces. Remove the solids and filter the broth.

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Return to stove. Add chicken, vegetables, noodles, spices, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.

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