Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Reader Email - "Refrigerator Soup" - Eat from the Pantry Challenge

Yesterday I received a delightful email from reader Adrienne. It made me click my heels (at least mentally) to read - here is the abridged version, published with her permission:

"I did this out of necessity yesterday as we hadn't made it to the grocery store after 10 days away. I made what I decided to call "refrigerator soup," based loosely on a stone soup recipe I found in a Rachael Ray cookbook I got from Christmas. Basically I took whatever I could find in the freezer/fridge/pantry and put it in a pot. It turned out so well I think I might make it again.

I had one chicken breast and two hot Italian sausages so I cut them up small and cooked them with onion, garlic and olive oil. Then I added some chopped up carrots and green pepper (would have used celery if I had some) and let it cook for a few minutes. Then I added a can of diced tomatoes, a can of black beans (could definitely use any other kind of bean), a cup or two of chicken broth, some cumin, salt, pepper, bay leaf, paprika and tabasco sauce (you could really take this any way you want with spices) and let it cook down a bit. It really was more like goulash than soup (more broth could be added for actual soup) and I served it over pasta. You could throw in potatoes or rice just as easily (also with the meat it could be anything from ground beef to sausage to totally veggie). It turned out really yummy (even my one-year-old was a fan) and I will definitely use this again if I need a use for leftovers. Anyway, just thought I'd pass it along :)"

Adrienne's example here is such a practical application of the January Eat from the Pantry Challenge, as hosted by Money Saving Mom and FishMama. She grabbed the bull by the horns (or the pot by the handle?), didn't let her unique pantry/fridge contents intimidate her, and in turn discovered a tasty dish for future use.

Thanks, Adrienne, for sharing this cool story!

As for our household, I found that a topping-based dinner - like the one we had last night with baked potatoes - works out as a great vector for getting rid of small amounts of condiments buffet style. I was able to use up some of the last vestiges of butter, shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa.

Other "topping meal" ideas:

Pizzas (leftover meats and veggies, cheeses)
Pancakes/waffles (fruit, whipped cream, syrups)
Chili (Cheeses, sour cream, crackers, breadcrumbs)
Quesadillas (leftover meats and veggies, cheeses)

What strategies are you employing in the Eat from the Pantry Challenge?
Reader Email - "Refrigerator Soup" - Eat from the Pantry ChallengeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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