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Old 01-17-2016, 11:30 PM   #1
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Canned soups as a base for a budget meal

Of course, from scratch soup is best, but canned soup is so cheap and easy. I was wondering if anyone has any recipes to kick it up a notch? I think I will add some orzo in and see how it turns out, also maybe more veggies and broth.

Here's a picture of our canned soup section in the pantry. I think we have about 50 cans -- mostly vegetable beef with barley and also chicken noodle.

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Old 01-17-2016, 11:37 PM   #2
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canned soups as a base for a budget meal

One of my favorite doctored soups is cream of mushroom. I add powdered and dried porcinis, a can of button mushrooms with liquid, dried onion flakes, and a bit of sherry or port.

I think a squeeze of lemon or lime is nice in any chicken soup.
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:32 AM   #3
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If you like tuna, I make a great fall-back meal when we're really hungry and have no time or energy to cook. It originally called for one can of tuna, back in the day when those cans held 7 oz of fish. Now I use two cans.

2 cans tuna
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can mixed vegetables (like Veg-all) (#1)
At least 1 cup pre-cooked rice (like Uncle Ben's Minute Rice) (#2)
* The reason I say "at least one cup" is because Himself likes his drier; I prefer more moist. The original recipe called for 1 cup. I initially mix in a 1/4 cups, divide into two casserole dishes, and add more rice to his dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain liquid from canned vegetables into your mixing bowl (or, better yet, mix in the casserole you'll be baking in). Add mushroom soup and mix until smooth. Add in your drained tuna, rice, and vegetables. Mix until combined. Put into baking dish, cover, and bake for 30 minutes. If you want a little cheese on top, add grated cheese the last five minutes. (I like cheddar)

#1 If you have an Aldi store near you, I can recommend both their mixed vegetables and their pre-cooked rice. If you decide to use the brown rice instead of white (I use the brown), it needs a little more pre-cook before you mix it in. I bring the recommended amount of water to a boil, pour in the measured rice, stir, cover, and wait five minutes. Then I add the rice to the rest of the ingredients in the bowl/casserole.

This was one of Himself's favorite quick meals when he was in college. 50 years later, it' still a good, quick supper.
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:20 AM   #4
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Canned soups are a great base to use for the start of a casserole or a lot of other dishes. I just have to be careful using them even just as soup. They are very high in sodium. So I read the back label first.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:19 AM   #5
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You say you have beef & barley soup and chicken noodle soup.

To the beef one, I might add finely chopped onion and mushrooms, lightly sauteed first. Perhaps some cooked diced carrots.

To the chicken noodle soup, I would add bits of cooked chicken and chopped parsley.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creative View Post
You say you have beef & barley soup and chicken noodle soup.

To the beef one, I might add finely chopped onion and mushrooms, lightly sauteed first. Perhaps some cooked diced carrots.

To the chicken noodle soup, I would add bits of cooked chicken and chopped parsley.
We have a saying in our family. Anytime someone finds a piece of chicken in Chicken Noodle Soup, "take it out and save it so you can send it back for the next can of soup!" Very few and far between any chicken pieces in their soup.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:10 AM   #7
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Cream of mushie is the base we use for hamburger stroganoff. The COM and Lipton onion soup mix give our Salisbury steaks their flavor. Of course both dishes also get L&P. We keep the good homemade stuff for other things. Kind of like using the cheap balsamic for everyday use and the 120 year old for special meals. Karen favors her chili made with tomato soup. That is about it for our uses of canned soup.

I consider a large batch of minestrone to be very economical as it freezes well and is enough for several meals. Remember to save and freeze those parmesan bones for soups and sauces.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:53 AM   #8
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I use cream of mushroom a couple of ways. DH occasionally has a taste for the traditional tuna-noodle casserole. I add 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and a half tsp of Dijon mustard to the mix.

Another favorite is to mix a can of COM soup with 2 tbsp Dijon mustard. Season chicken breasts or thighs with salt and pepper and brown in oil in a skillet. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Add 1 cup chicken stock or water to the pan; scrape up browned bits with a spatula. Add soup mixture, 2 cups sliced veggies (I use onions, bell peppers and celery) and chicken back to the pan and stir well. Cover and cook over low heat till chicken is cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve chicken and veggies with sauce over rice.
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:00 AM   #9
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To kick up the flavor of canned soups, I would add more of what's already in there, or add herbs. I like to add a little Maggi seasoning to bean with bacon soup. You could sauté diced onion, celery and minced garlic and add this mixture to many soups.
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Canned soups are a great base to use for the start of a casserole or a lot of other dishes. I just have to be careful using them even just as soup. They are very high in sodium. So I read the back label first.
They have low-sodium versions. I think they even have salt-free versions.
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