Want to enjoy what is nearly a free meal? Make some stoup. Stoup is stew-soup made from leftovers collected throughout the week or month plus anything that needs to be eaten before it goes bad. Add tomatoes, onions, garlic, and beans as needed to rev up the flavor and protein. For example, you might start with some extra pasta sauce, a carrot that's a bit limp, a handful of rice or pasta, broth from cooking chickpeas, and parsley stems. (Remove the parsley stems before serving.)
Imagine the final stoup as you choose food to add. Only add items that would make the stoup tasty. It's fun to see how the stoup manages to be different every time. You can nudge it in various ethnic directions by adding spices.
For the sake of tracking the probable costs of making stoup, the Cook for Good plan assumes that you'll add these items to your other ingredients to serve four people: 2 cups of cooked beans, a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, an onion, a green pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, and cayenne pepper to taste. But it really depends on what you start with.
Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 45 minutes to 1 hour. Number of servings depends on what you add to it.
leftovers frozen throughout the week or month
as needed, diced tomatoes, onions, beans, garlic, hot sauce, spices
- Save up. Keep largish freezer container (mine holds a quart, see above) for any sort of leftovers during the month that might be good in a stew such as a few tablespoons of tomato sauce, a half-cup of beans, the rest of an onion, extra rice, the spicy relish from the Indian takeout, bread crumbs, and rinsings from tomato cans and cooking pots. If you do eat meat, add any edible scraps.
- Thaw, simmer, and forage. The night before you