Weekend Soup Specials

I read about this idea somewhere else a while back, and don’t recall where I read it, so oops – no hat tip to whomever posted it somewhere, but it was a great tip!

Place a container in the refridgerator and through the week, rather than toss the scraps of fresh, raw food into garbage, instead place in the container (onion ends, carrot ends, cabbage cores, shavings from potatoes, etc).  The scraps will add up and at the end of the week, cook them up in large pan with water for 20 minutes or so and you will have the makings of soup stock.  Drain the liquid via strainer into bowl, saving the liquid and discarding the now cooked scraps.

You can now use the soup stock to make soups, adding fresh raw food ingredients, ie, onions, potatoes, carrots, root vegetables, pasta, macaroni, beans, grains like barley or bulghur.

In the summer months, when I’m working on my vegetable garden, all the saved scraps go into compost bin.  In winter, though, here in Pacific Northwest, where it rains more than there is sun, I don’t work the compost, and it almost hurts to discard scraps of fresh, raw food into the garbage.  Finding another way to use the scraps to make weekender soups in the colder months is a workable idea for us.

I’ve made soups the last 2 weekenders using this idea and I call them surprise soups because not sure what I’m going to get for soup stock.   For example, I had used several apples one week, so had apple peelings, along with cabbage core.  I knew the soup stock , using these scraps would be on the sweet side,  so I wanted to make a kind of curry or ginger winter squash soup on the order of pumpkin soup.  That way I could use up some of my left over summer squash as well.   This week, I had carrot peelings, another cabbage core, and I had pulled fresh beets from the garden so tossed in the leave stocks, knowing it will produce a red, root vegetable flavored stock.  I will be adding tomato base and something along the order of potatoes, carrots, beans and make a version of vegetable type soup.

Albondigas Soup Recipe

Albondigas Soup Recipe

Preparation time: 1 hour.

“Albondigas” means “meatballs” in Spanish, and the trick to perfect albondigas soup is to put chopped mint leaves into the meatballs. The mint is what gives an albondigas soup meatball its unique flavor.

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 large onion, chopped

– 1 large garlic clove, minced

– 1/2 cup of tomato sauce

– 3 quarts of chicken stock or beef stock OR water OR a mixture of both (we usually use half stock half water as the meatballs will create their own stock)

– 2 large carrots, sliced

– 1/2 lb of string beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

– 1 pound ground beef

– 1/3 cup of raw white rice

– 1 raw egg

– 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves and/or parsley

– 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

– 1/1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas

– Dried oregano, crumbled

– Salt and pepper

-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and broth mixture. Bring to boil and simmer. Add carrots and string beans.

Prepare meatballs. Mix rice into meat, adding mint land parsley leaves, salt and pepper. Add raw egg. Form beef into 1-inch meatballs. Return soup to gentle simmer. Add meatballs to soup. Cover and let simmer for 1/2 hour. Add peas towards the end of the 1/2 hour. Add a few pinches of oregano and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish soup with chopped fresh cilantro.

Serves 6-8.



A few hints to get started

An old sink mat goes to use in the garden. Use for an old sink mat. Clean it and turn it over and notice that the holes were evenly spaced . Use it in the garden to plant seeds -a built in weed barrier.

Hot Lemon Drink. Boil 8 oz. of water and place in your coffee mug. Add 1 large slice of fresh lemon to the mug. Add  honey as
desired. Really warms the tummy on a cold winter day. Enjoy.

Wine Cork Recipe Card Holder . An inexpensive recipe card holder is a plain little cork.  Cut  a slit into the narrow end of the cork at a slight angle. Slide your recipe card into the slit. You will be able to follow your recipe easily and it will keep your card clean.

Pantyhose Punching Bag. Make a punching bag by putting a soccer ball into the waist section of a pair of pantyhose. Knot the waist. Using the legs, tie it to a hook or a beam. Now start punching.

Keeping Children’s Art from Fading. Spray your child’s art work with hairspray to keep it from fading or getting dusty.

Make a trellis for your climbing plant (indoor or out). Shape the triangular part of a clothes hanger into any shape you like, then
straighten the hook. Stick the straightened hook into the soil then train your plant around the the wire.
You can also use tomato cages for ivy and either wrap them up and down or around and around.

Freshening a Stinky Microwave. Have a stinky microwave? Just quarter a lemon and put it in a microwave-safe dish along with some water and cook on high for 2 minutes.

Moisturize your feet and put socks on overnight. As you sleep and your pores open you will absorb the moisture and retain it.The next day your feet will feel very soft.

For a quick clean up of the stove handles/knobs, wipe with white distilled vinegar it is a natural degreaser and works great.  Add a little vinegar to dishwater amazing how effective it can be to help with the grease.