"That they (the older women) admonish the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How-To Make Frugal Pantry Ham and Lentil Soup

Here's my "How-To make leftover soup." I have so many odds and ends around this house, I've decided it's time to take some action! I love a good blog challenge and the Eat From the Pantry Challenge came at just the right time for me, since I'm trying to clean out the freezers and pantry of my house and save money on groceries this week!

So far, I'm not doing too bad. We did get Arby's one night because I lost track of time and stayed too late at a friend's house one night and I did buy ice cream at an outrageous price on New Year's Day to take to my mom's house for dessert. Ah, poor planning. The enemy of the frugal foodies.

But not yesterday! I planned on using the ham bone that's been sitting in our freezer since my 2nd daughter was born...... last June. :) Told ya, I really need to clean out the freezers! I wish now I had taken pictures. That's my next blogging goal to work on: Actually use the awesome digital camera I got for Christmas. Plus, you may not have wanted to see pictures of the ham carnage anyway... it was a scary sight. Picture this......

Me with a knife trying to hack slimy chunks of meat off of a ham bone. *Gag* I hate messing with meat with my hands. I'd always rather dump it in a pan or pot and just cook it. I'm a texture freak. My husband had people there looking at a table we're selling (and sold!) as I was trying to dumb my lovely ham stock into another pot and burning myself. Ah, the joys of cooking. The problem with my "creations" is that I rarely remember how I created it so I often can't tell others or even duplicate it myself. I think I basically remember this time, so, if you're interested, here's a fairly good recipe for :

Pantry Ham and Lentil Soup
  • Ham Bone and water to cover
  • whole cloves (about 1 tsp)
  • bay leaves (5 or 6)
  • old carrots that have been in my refrigerator since harvest time... in September?
  • small onion, chopped
  • extra brown rice water (saved it from boiling rice, had too much water)
  • palmful of Italian seasoning we've had since we were married, I think
  • salt, pepper, etc.
  • bag of lentils (16oz I think)
  • small amount of No Yolk egg noddles forgotten about in my pantry
  • a block of frozen peas from my garden that had almost been forgotten about
  • a few garden carrots that were still worthy of eating, sliced
You get the idea. This soup was a hodgepodge of extra ingredients I had laying around. I boiled the ham bone for maybe an hour or so with the cloves, bay leaves and old carrots. I poured the stock into another pot, discarded the carrots, cloves and bay leaves. I removed any useful meat from the bone (uck!!) and added it back into the stock with the chopped onion, sliced carrots, rice water and spices.

Frugal Foodie Tip: Whenever you add dry spices to something (like Italian seasonings) put them in your palm and rub it between your palms into the dish. This helps bring life back into older spices. :) I think this is one of the few things I learned from Rachel Ray.

I heated the stock again and 1/2 an hour before I wanted to serve the soup I added the lentils. I just dumped in the whole bag because I don't need another half bag of something in the pantry! 20 minutes later, I added the noodles and peas. There you have it! I added water as needed throughout the process, so now we have enough for several more meals.

Add in some Cresant rolls (bought with coupons!) from the fridge that expired in Dec 09 and you've got a wonderful, frugal meal that uses up extra pantry and freezer items! This same kind of idea works with a chicken carcass or any other bone you have around. Use old meat bones to make great stocks! Want some other great food ideas? Check out Tasty Tuesday, Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie , and Tuesdays at the Table!


Amy on January 5, 2010 at 9:36 AM said...

Sorry to say I am not a pork eater but this does sound good.

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace on January 5, 2010 at 7:59 PM said...

Sounds like food for a cold night!! Thanks for linking to TMTT.

Jen@balancing beauty and bedlam on January 6, 2010 at 10:34 PM said...

Friend - you KNOw I am with you on this pantry challenge with some lentil soup. SO SAD - I had to throw our ham out and thus the pantry challenge. It had fallen to the bottom of our deep freeze never to be seen again. :)


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