save money eating soup

Eating soup stretches your food dollars and is healthy to begin with. Mixing whatever ingredients you have on hand in a pot of water is cheap and plentiful. The soup may have been around since the first pots were placed on the fire. The word “soup” is probably derived from the bread on which it is poured called “sop” or “sup”. Before then, soup was known as broth, pottage, or even porridge (although we now think of porridge as strictly a crushed cereal grain boiled in water).

Cultures came up with different approaches to the soup based on what was available locally. Borscht made from beets is from Russia. Bouillabaisse is a fish soup from the port city of Marseille, France. Minestrone, made from fresh vegetables and beans, is from Italy. Scotch stock, made from mutton or mutton, root vegetables, and barley, is from Scotland. You will find that there are specific soups for most places.

There are two main classifications of soup: clear soups and thick soups. French classifications of clear soups include broth and bouillon. Thick soups are classified by their thickening agents. Purées are thickened starchy vegetable soups. Bisques are made from pureed seafood or vegetables thickened with cream. Cream soups use a bechamel sauce to thicken. Veloutés are thickened with butter, cream, and eggs. Soups can also be thickened with rice, flour, cereals, lentils, mashed potatoes, or mashed carrots.

Apart from being delicious, soups are also generally quite healthy. You should be careful about the sodium level in processed soups. Many manufacturers now offer lower salt level options. Salt caution aside, soups offer a hearty meal, often rich in vegetables (which increase fiber intake) and high in fluids (perfect for staying hydrated).

Augment canned or ready-to-eat soups by adding additional vegetables. Add a fried egg, thin slices of deli meat, a dash of green beans, and green onions to the ramen to boost its nutritional value.

Often the cheapest option is to make your own soup. Soups are easy to make and are a great way to use up any leftover bits from other meals. Freeze leftovers in freezer bags or containers marked with the date and contents. When you’re ready to make the soup, pull out these precious leftovers to add to your soup.

To make a pot of soup, get out an 8-quart pot. Brown the raw meat and the onions that you will use. Then add leftovers, up to 4 cups of vegetables in any combination, a handful of noodles of any kind, pour in up to 16 ounces of tomato in any form you have (puree, sauce, soup, diced, fresh), and add enough water to bring the mixture to within an inch of the edge of the pot. Sprinkle with spices. Try a tablespoon of an Italian blend, or a teaspoon each of basil and oregano, and a quarter teaspoon of pepper (hot red or black, whichever you prefer). Add a teaspoon of “Kitchen Bouquet” for extra flavor and rich color. Add a teaspoon of “Better Than Bouillon” or salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the noodles don’t stick to the bottom. The flavors will meld beautifully.

Serve the soup with a carbohydrate. I like to switch between cornbread, fresh bread, toast, and crackers. Add a serving of cheese, peanut butter, or tuna. Finish your meal with a piece of fresh fruit or a serving of canned fruit.

Eat a soup every day. You’ll find that your food dollars go further, and you’ll also notice improvements in your overall health. “Like what?” you ask. Hydration. Hydration levels are improved due to the large amount of water in the soup. Hydration affects how your body works. Digestion works better, bowel movements become regular and easier. Proper hydration is also important for brain function. Dehydration can lead to confusion, poor mental processing, forgetfulness, and other dementia-like symptoms. In general, the lower calorie level of the soup helps maintain ideal weight (cream-based soups should form only a small part of your soup regimen). The soup also retains vitamins and minerals that leach out during cooking, because the liquid in which vegetables and meats are cooked is eaten instead of being poured down the drain.

So eat your healthy soup and be happy!

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