More and more I think of ways to make a variety of different tasting foods, without cooking everything from scratch each evening. Yes I do think that sounds a lot like leftovers, but hear this idea first, if you will.
Commercial kitchens often times work from a master recipe, which means that while everything is cooked fresh, everything does not start from a scratch beginning. Simply because there is not enough time. That seems to remind me of our home, after the commute...........
When you are feeding lots of hungry people, you must make a lot of food, but still have variety. Enter the master recipe, with variations. Take this idea a step forward for small families and you have a very convenient way to make a new dinner, without starting from scratch each time you need to make a meal.
|Potato Soup, the starting point for many great meals.|
Let's start with a soup, potato soup to be precise. Potato soup is delicious as is, but it is like a blank slate, ready to take on a new personality at a moments notice.
by the seat of my pants
makes approximately 1 Gallon
4 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 ribs celery, diced
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
8 c bone broth or water
1 1/2 t salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T thyme leaves, crushed
1 large can evaporated milk
2-4 T flour - you can customize your kettle of soup, more flour if you like chowder over soup
In a large kettle, fry bacon until beginning to brown, remove most of the fat, add onions and continue to cook until bacon is golden and onions are softening.
Add remaining ingredients - celery though thyme, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer approximately 1 hour or until potatoes and celery are soft.
In a small bowl, whisk flour into the milk. Add to kettle and return to a boil, cook and stir until soup has thickened slightly. Adjust seasonings.
Soup may be enjoyed plain or frozen for future use. To freeze, place 4 cups soup in a freezer container, cover tightly and freeze. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Flavor Suggestions: For each 4 cup container of soup, add one of the following.
Corn Chowder: add one 16 oz can of drained corn. Simmer 5-10 minutes, serve.
Broccoli Cheese Soup: cook 2 cups broccoli florets until barely tender. Drain well, add to soup base along with 1 c grated sharp cheese. Heat until cheese has melted, serve.
Vegetable Chowder: Cook 2-3 cups of mixed vegetables (green beans, carrots and peas) until tender, drain well, stir into soup base, heat and serve. Garnish with chopped hard cook eggs.
Ham, White Bean and Potato Chowder: drain one 16 oz can cannelloni beans, stir into soup base along with 1/2 c diced ham. When heated through, serve with Parmesan Cheese.
Smoked Salmon and Roasted Red Pepper: Stir 1/2 c broken pieces of smoked salmon and 1 diced roasted red pepper into soup base, heat gently, serve.
What would be your flavor additions?
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