Friday, 9 March 2012

Two Tips That Can Make Your Soup Amazing

Really good soups all have two things in common flavor, and that special something taste they do not normally find in soup.

soup mix
I have to share with you two things that I do on my budget to make my soups outstanding. I believe that the freshest ingredients on sale at my local grocery store help make a great soup but, sometimes my soups are a combination of whatever is leftover at the end of the week.

The base, I like to slow cook my soups in my slow cooker. The base of any soup can be made with water. Where I live the water has a terrible taste and must be filtered. A few months ago I started keeping the liquid I used to cook pork roasts and chicken in my slow cooker. I was not sure at the time what I would do with this liquid so I froze it in 2 cup containers. Soon after I began taking these frozen 2 cup portions and putting them in my slow cooker as the base liquid. The flavor given by the frozen broth was amazing. I could use the same ingredients from one soup but change the flavor simply by going from a chicken based frozen broth to a pork frozen broth. The best part is there was no additional expense of having to purchase broth from my grocery store. The next best part is, all the extra work I had to do was simply pour the broth into containers. Wait for the broth to freeze then pop them out of the container and put the frozen pucks in a freezer bag until such time as I needed one.

The second important flavor enhancer that I like to use is the BBQ. My preference for BBQ is charcoal. The only part that annoys me about charcoal is the wasted charcoal left over that is still hot and will continue to give off heat and flavor until it turns to ash.

After the main course has finished cooking and removed from the grill I now fill the grill with vegetables I can use in future soups. Tomatoes that have been sitting on your grill will enhance the flavor of a roasted tomato soup with that smokey goodness. Celery, carrots, corn, onion, garlic and squash all absorb the flavor of your grill and can be added to your soup. There really is not any kind of vegetable or meat when added to the grill after cooking your main dish that will not enhance the flavor of your next soup.

Grilling your vegetables this way has other benefits. The vegetables cook slowly while you are enjoying your fantastic meal. The hardest part is remembering to get them off the grill before you go to sleep for the evening.

Rick and his wife have been able to reduce their grocery budget by almost 50% since they started this challenge in 2010. Their 15 years of grocery shopping for the family has led them to start a blog with very creative tips to using leftovers to save money. There are great tips about meal planning, cooking utensils, recipes, and grocery lists.

You can follow their blog, post comments and find our latest book 60+ Tips To Feed A Family Of 4 With Less Than $100 A Week.

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