Friday, January 6, 2012

I don't buy.... Canned Soup

 Thanks for joining for my first post in the series of "I don't buy..." . I am hoping this will be a fun and informative series as well as a challenging one for me. I am hoping to report on several things that I no longer buy before I finish this series. There are somethings I am testing out (or hope to test out) that would replace things that I do buy and I am excited about that.

   Meanwhile I will share many things that I used to buy but have now found quite suitable substitutes for (or perhaps decided that they weren't really necessary and adjusted our lifestyle). There are some things in our life that I have gotten to the place that I rarely buy but I do still very occasionally buy and in those cases I probably will still post about it but I will be sure to disclose the fact that I still like to have it (or my family likes to have it) occasionally. I may also sometime post about things that I never did buy (like cake or cookie mixes or pie crusts) but if I do that I will also be sure to disclose that.

  For today however I am going to talk about soup. At the beginning of our marriage and during my college years I did indeed once and a while buy canned soup. That was not something my mother did so when I started to really work at reducing our food budget as well as feeding my family healthier food turning my back on canned soup and making my own instead wasn't very difficult.

  Even if canned soup is all you have ever known- changing to homemade soup does not have to be difficult. I think soup is often (depending of course on the type you make) one of the easiest meals that you can make. It is also quite forgiving- unlike cake where if you forget an essential like the baking powder or soda or the sweetener it turns out pretty nasty and there isn't much you can do about it- with soup you can taste as you go along and you don't have to be concerned about things like whether it will rise or not.

  The reasons for changing from canned soup to homemade soup are simple- It costs a lot less (unless of course you can find a steal of a deal on canned soup AND you insist on really expensive ingredients for your homemade soup) and you can make it much healthier. You can put in only ingredients that you can actually pronounce the names of. Isn't that nice?

 Soups are great for people like me who prefer not to really follow recipes. It is pretty easy to put together a soup without ever pulling out a cookbook. You simply need some liquid, some seasonings and meat, veggies, noodles or beans or whatever you want to put in it. It can be as simple as combining a ham bone, white beans, onion and water and letting them simmer (which is what I have on the stove as I write and am very much looking forward to eating!). Of course if you like following recipes there are plenty of them out there, You can see my potato soup recipe here or you can look on a site like Allrecipes and find a bunch.

Here is my mom's recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup:

Take a piece or more of chicken (this is great use for backs and necks but legs or thighs or other parts will work great too.) and put it in a pot and cover with water and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Boil it and then take the meat off of the bone. Then combine in a pot:
  • Broth and Chicken
  • Chopped Onions
  • Chopped Celery
  • Chopped Carrots
  • Chopped Potatoes
  • Chopped Garlic
  • Sage (a pinch or two)
  • Salt (to taste)
Bring to a boil. Add Noodles and cook for 20 minutes to 1/2 hour. We use homemade noodles and here is how to make them:
NOODLES-  Combine 2 cups flour, 2 or 3 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 - 1/3 cup milk or water. Mix and then roll out and cut into strips. You can let them dry before using them or put them in fresh. Any extras that are dry can be frozen for future use.

  Soups are an easy thing to make a lot of so if you are feeding a crowd or if you want to freeze some to have as a convenient meal later (some creamy soups don't freeze that well but many others will) homemade soup will fill the bill. Soups are also an excellent way to use up little bits of leftovers like meat, gravy or veggies. You will surprised at how yummy a soup made from leftovers can be. Soup is of course always yummy paired with homemade bread or cornbread.

  If you are looking to save some money and live healthier and more sustainably and you currently buy canned soup- I encourage you to give Homemade Soup making a try!

I am linking this up to Frugal Friday at Life as MOM and More Bang for your Bucks


Christy said...

I love homemade soup - nothing beats it in my opinion!

Elise said...

We had to cut out canned "cream of" soups because of food allergies and haven't looked back!
It's so much cheaper and healthier!

Momma Marketer said...

I rarely use canned soup, but do keep a few cans, like chicken noodle or vegetable beef on hand, for those nights when I'm too tired to cook, or for those rare occassions when everyone in the house is sick at the same time. I did experiment this summer with canning my homemade vegetable beef soup, and homemade chili, and that worked well.

I know you do a lot of canning. Is it possible to can chicken noodle soup? I would think the noodles would get soggy and mushy.

Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy said...

I used to buy canned soup as an "emergency" lunch option for my husband's lunchbox, but I stopped even doing that b/c it's just too expensive even on sale with coupons. Furthermore, not very healthy! I've just recently started making our own soups in the past couple years, and have found out that it's really one of the easier things to cook. I love making soup now!

Anonymous said...

Sure would love a bowl of that chicken soup in your picture! Looks delicious. I love to make homemade soup. I do need to find a recipe for condensed cream of chicken soup because I still buy that for some of my chicken casseroles.

Great Post.


Abbi said...

Thanks so much for all your comments! I enjoy reading them.

Mommy Marketer, I have never canned chicken noodle soup- I thought I would check it out though since you asked and according to what I read it is not at all recommended to can anything with pasta as it can not heat evenly and allow spores for botulism to remain. Here is a link with more information:
Canning chicken broth with veggies in it is okay however so you could can that and then just add the noodles when you are heating it up.


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