Thursday, April 5, 2012

Soup Starter for Busy Nights

Yesterday afternoon DH and I decided we would go see the Hunger Games matinee, after all, who wants to pay full price at the movie theater? It is the second movie in a month we have gone to, the first being Valor. Prior to those two movies, it had been probably 2 years since we had seen a movie. The last one was The Book of Eli. I know, we don't get out much. Before that, I can't even remember. I can probably count all the movies we've ever been to in 23 years of marriage on one and a half hands.

Okay, so the whole point of this was that the movie was going to get out after 6 p.m. and who wants to go home at that hour and conjure up something from the pantry? I could have put together a crock pot meal, but instead decided to heat up a batch of soup starter, which is so handy and versatile to have in your canning pantry. It has barley, beef bouillon, carrots, celery and potatoes. Just dump it in a pot and add a jar of beef or chicken, or whatever leftover meat and veggie scraps you have, add another cup of water and some bouillon if you like, and you have a very tasty, delicious meal that the whole family will eat. I love having this in my pantry and it costs pennies to make 7 quarts. To round the meal out, I made a batch of artisan bread. This is so simple to make. And you don't have to knead! The dough is just sitting in the fridge waiting for you to come and grab off a hunk, shape into a ball or loaf, let it rest for 30-40 min. and then bake. How easy is that? It is so good and has a nice crunchy crust.  This bread  goes perfect with soup starter, stew, or any meal.

I am using bread that was left over  from last night and breakfast (oh, by the way, it makes awesome toast) to make croutons. Just slice into cubes, sprinkle with olive oil and whatever seasoning you would like. I used garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese. The bake in a slow oven (325) for about 1/2 and hour, stirring every 10 min. Store air tight when cool and they are great on salads, soups, or whatever. Who wants to pay $2 or more for a skimpy bag from the store that are loaded with chemicals when you can make better tasting ones at home for a fraction of the cost? Do you see a pattern here? I am cheap frugal and enjoy serving my family good food that tastes great and doesn't break the food budget.


  1. lol, you have seen more movies than i have. i have not been to the movie theatre in over twenty years...i guess b ecause if i dont read the book then the movie eventually is shown on television. it would be nice though to go see a movie now and for a matinee are awfully expensive and we live over forty mi. one way from the nearest theatre/movie house. so seeing a movie/matinee can be just as expensive to go to as a baseball or football game too.

    1. Gosh, movies are very expensive, it was $15 for the two of us. As we walked by the concessions, DH asked if I wanted anything. Right... not at those ridiculous prices. Never missed the popcorn.

  2. I have given your blog a much deserved blogger award. Go to my site and read all about it.

  3. I sent an email today on oven canning. Sorry I took so long to answer.


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