Cooking for Daily Living
Soups, Salads and Dressings

Soup Sense

If you cater to a large family you might take your cue from the log cabin camp cook who stirred the contents of his oversize soup kettle with an ax handle. And if Granny had used pennies in her soup pot, not only would she have pinched them 'til they hollered, she would have squeezed out the juice for color. For soup making is a penny pinching medium in which leftovers and oddments can be combined to make something tasty, filling or just plain soup-er.
Cut the bones from your meat before cooking. Pork chops, steak and roast bones, chicken necks, wing tips and back bones. . . even the piece that went over the fence last. You get added benefit from them this way. Clean them. Boil and pour off broth. Cool and skim off the grease. Add any bits of meat you can trim off and freeze until you have enough for a pot of soup. Or add boiling water and concentrated soup base, either chicken or beef flavored, then let yourself go! This soup stock lends itself to almost any combination of vegetables, pearled barley, rice, crushed noodles, herbs and seasonings, at far less cost than commercial soups. Careful with the rice, barley, noodles or macaroni. A generous tablespoon-full in vegetable soup is enough for a six serving pot. These all double and quadruple in bulk and can thicken your soup into mulligan. Cook this type of soup long and slow. When seasonings proceed with caution since too little seasoning can be remedied. Too much seasoning is just too much.
A cream soup can be served occasionally to low fat dieters and more often to others. Use cooked or leftover diced vegetables. Six to eight seconds in the blender does a great puree job. Add milk; or a mix of 3 tablespoons dry powdered milk to 1 cup of skim or low fat milk for extra body. Use with 1 to 2 cups hot puree and heat almost to boiling. Do not boil, milk may curdle.

Food for Thought
Keep croutons in a glass jar tightly capped for soups and salads.
Keep cheese grated or diced and frozen in plastic bag for au gratin potatoes, macaroni and cheese soups, salads. etc.