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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Soup!

It's a shame my hubby doesn't like to eat soup more often. If he did, we'd almost never have to worry about running out of money for food. Soup is hands down the cheapest way to feed a family, and it packs a nutritious punch to boot! 


Please don't think I am referring to ramen noodles which are often on sale 10 packs for 10.00. Sure I could buy up a whole bunch of ramen noodles, let's say 20 packs for 20.00, and feed my family of 4 for 5 nights in a row, but we wouldn't be getting any nutrition! Seems like a waste of 20.00 bucks to me, lol.

What I am about to talk about is nothing new, everyone has done it. Say you made a huge turkey for Thanksgiving, ate half of it, a couple of turkey sandwiches for lunch the next day, and then turkey stew - enough to last for a few days. Sure you had to spend 20.00 or more on the turkey (and fixings) but it likely fed everyone for a week. Talk about cheap!

In this instance, I actually bought just the turkey's back and neck. When a turkey is cut up into pieces for individual sale, nobody wants the back and neck, so it sits in the meat display case waiting until it gets marked down from around 3.00 to around 1.50. That's when I buy it, and then it sits in my freezer until that time of the month when we are running LOW on food, and have to wait to get our food stamps. That's when my hubby can't object to me making what we have in the freezer that he normally avoids like the plague, lol!

So, tonight I plop the frozen carcass into a large pot, cover it with water and a bit of salt, and set it to boil. I let it boil for about 20 minutes, which is just long enough for the carcass to thaw and cook fully. Then, I pulled the carcass out of the pot, and turned the broth onto low for now. There's no sense in boiling water with nothing in it!

I totally admit it, after the carcass has cooled a bit, this is my FAVORITE part! I get to pick all of the meat off the bones! Since I am doing this part all by myself, I don't feel bad at all about sampling the meat for tenderness and flavor, lol! I am not so concerned about the meat on the neck, because while there is more meat on the neck than one might think, it's hard to pick off without using one's teeth, so that I just eat outright.

The meat on the back is pulled off the bones, and set aside for much later on. In the meantime, the back and neck bones are tossed back in the pot with a splash of apple cider vinegar, set to boil once more, and then allowed to simmer overnight. In the morning, I will remove them and throw them away. The vinegar combines with the simmering to pull as much of the minerals from the bones as possible. This means that the bone broth - also called stock by chefs, since it is the base of most fine quality foods - is chock full of minerals.


I also tossed the largest piece of skin/fat into the pot to give the broth some flavor. The rest of the fat I ate. I had too much to just toss in the pot - which would have made the broth greasy - and I wasn't about to waste all those vitamins! I've heard that back fat renders into a high quality cooking grease, but I just didn't feel like taking the time to render it, when it would have only been maybe a 1/4 a cup if I was lucky. 1/4 a cup would have been plenty to make into gravy though, so I think I will do that next time I make this.

Now that I am thinking about it, I need to go back to the pot and add some herbs and spices...


Anyway, tomorrow, since I will be using up what I have on hand, I will toss one 4.00 bag of organic brown rice spirals into the pot - unless hubby wants rice instead - and then I will probably toss one or two 1.50 cans of organic corn into the pot, and finally throw in the meat I had taken off the bones.


By the way, I pulled enough meat off the bones that if I wanted to use it like tuna and add mayo and whatnot to make a spreadable salad for sandwiches, I would have had enough to feed at least 6 people.


So... for 1.50 for the turkey, 4.00 for the noodles (probably about 0.50 to maybe 1.00 if I use rice instead since I buy organic rice for 2.50 a pound) and 3.00 for corn - a total of 8.50 - I will have enough soup to feed the four of us for at least 2 days, and by that I mean we could eat it for lunch and dinner for 2 days if we wanted. I will probably end up freezing whatever is left after we eat about half of it.


Not bad, and you know what, it's actually less expensive for a mostly organic soup than it is to buy enough ramen noodles to feed us the same number of meals. Ironic huh? Like I said, soup! It's nutritious and frickin' cheap! Also, now that I think about it, I could buy a 4.00 3lb bag of organic potatoes, and make the same soup into a stew for the same price!


That sounds really good actually. I think next time, I will render the back fat and turn it into gravy which I will then add to the turkey broth and meat, corn, and potatoes to make a stew. Oh... stew... I love stew! Of course potatoes and flour are bad for me, but that's what makes them so darn tasty to me, lol!


Have a happy night, and hopefully think about making a soup to blog about!

1 comment:

  1. You know, I keep forgetting to mention that I buy all my seasonings in bulk and they are organic. The RealSalt and other seasonings I added to this soup probably come to less than a dollar - two if I use a LOT of RealSalt. So maybe it's more fair to say that this pot of soup cost 10.00. However, that's STILL cheaper than buying the same soup in the same amount premade, organic or not! :-)

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