Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Soup, Salad, and Bread Night (Frugal Food Thursday)

soup salad bread

Welcome to Frugal Food Thursday!  If you have a great frugal recipe, please link up below! 

Want to have a cheap meal that everyone will love?

Institute a weekly Soup, Salad, and Bread Night. Serve a hearty soup, a fresh, crisp salad, and a crusty bread. It's a simple meal and full of variations. It take a little time to prepare, but it's cheap and good!  And it's great for a crowd, or just for a few.

I've reduced the hands-on time to make such a meal by using my favorite kitchen helpers: the crockpot and the bread machine.  If you have these two appliances (both can be found inexpensively at thrift shops), you can make a soup, salad, and bread night even if you're not at home for most of the day!

Here's what I did to have a Soup, Salad, and Bread Night recently:

Soup: I make soup in the crockpot - it's so easy!  I received my current 5.5 quart crockpot as an anniversary gift from my parents.  It replaced a smaller one that they had given me early in my marriage, when they were decluttering and getting rid of unused kitchen appliances.

In the morning, I placed a 3-lb whole chicken in the crockpot along with some sliced carrots, celery (including the leafy tops), and onion.  If you have herbs like parsley or dill on hand, throw in a few sprigs.  Add some whole peppercorns if you have them as well.  Don't add salt yet; wait until the end to add it. Fill the crockpot with water until it covers the chicken.

Cook on Low for 8 hours or more.  You should have thoroughly-cooked chicken and a light broth.

Strain the soup and return the liquid to the crockpot.  Slice the breast and thigh meat from the whole chicken and place it in the crockpot.  Keep the rest of the meat, the bones, and the cooked vegetables for later.

Add more very thinly sliced fresh carrots and celery to the crockpot, and pour in 2/3 cup dried small pasta, such as alphabet noodles or ditalini.  Or you could add some uncooked rice or other whole grains if you like. I also added matzah balls to my soup, which I had made separately.

Cook on Low for one more hour, add salt if needed, then serve.

After dinner, store any extra soup in the refrigerator.  Then place the chicken bones, the rest of the meat, and old vegetables in the crockpot.  Cut up some more carrots, celery, and onions and put in the crockpot, as well as herbs and pepper if you have them.  Add 3 quarts of water.  Cook on Low for 18-24 hours.  Strain the soup. You'll get 3 quarts of hearty chicken broth, perfect for using in recipes (freeze some in ice cube trays to make it easy to add while you're cooking) or as a base for a future soup.  Fish out any leftover cooked chicken to make chicken salad sandwiches for lunch the next day.

Of course, you can make any soup you like!  I'd make sure that there is some protein sources in the soup, whether it be chicken, beef, or perhaps a bean soup like minestrone.  I would definitely avoid using canned soups, though.  If you make the chicken broth ahead of time, you can use that as a base for soups when time is tighter.

Salad: Because I made such a fuss with the soup and the bread, I kept the salad to a simple tossed salad with lettuce, carrots, celery, red pepper, and tomatoes.  All of the veggies were bought on sale either at ALDI or at Penn-Dutch, a local grocery store which has a $2 off $10 coupon each week in my paper.  If you want, though, of course you can make a fancier salad - try my Romaine and Orange Salad, for instance.

breadmakerBread: It was Friday night, Shabbat, at my house, so I served homemade challah. I make the dough for bread in my breadmaker, which I purchased for $5.00 at a thrift shop.  (It was originally $9.99, but I bought it at at 50% off sale.  I've never gotten around to cleaning off the price - it reminds me of the great deal I got.  And it has paid for itself hundreds of times over.)

After running the ingredients through the dough cycle, I shape the bread or put it in a loaf pan, allow it to rise once again, then bake in the oven.  I prefer this to baking bread in the breadmaker itself - I don't like how the bread is baked in my breadmaker.

If  you're not at home during the day, you can put the ingredients in the breadmaker, then set the timer for it to start up so that the dough cycle is done when you get home.  Just don't use a bread recipe that has dairy or eggs in it - you don't want those ingredients to sit out unrefrigerated.

The challah was delicious, but I think a whole-grain, crusty bread would be better for a soup, salad, and bread night.  For instance, you could use my recipes for Whole Wheat French Bread or Coconut Oil Whole Wheat Bread would be very good.  A rye or pumpernickel bread would be great as well.

Hope this helps you institute your own Soup, Salad, and Bread Night!

There are lots more cheap recipes posted here at Frugal FolliesClick here for the list!

Got a great frugal recipe?  Link below to your actual post, not your main page.  Please only link up recipes and other food-related posts. I'd appreciate it if you would link back to Frugal Food Thursday as well! If you have a linkup party that you'd like me to know about, please leave a comment below.

For more great recipes, please go to my Linkup Parties list and scroll down to Food Linkups. There are lots of great recipes on each blog and I'm sure you'll find some new favorites!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Unknown September 6, 2012 at 6:04 AM  

In cooler weather, soup is a favorite dinner for us with fresh bread! Thanks for hosting.

Katherines Corner September 6, 2012 at 9:24 PM  

one of our fav meals. Great tip on making soup in the crock pot.Thank you for sharing at the hop xo

Jennifer September 7, 2012 at 7:22 AM  

Hi, thanks for participating in Frugal Tuesday Tip. Please provide a link back to one of the hostesses though. thanks!

Anonymous,  September 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM  

Soup and salad is a favorite meal for me any time, especially now that it's feeling like fall. Thanks for hosting.

Miz Helen September 7, 2012 at 1:04 PM  

Your recipe is awesome! Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Diane Balch September 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM  

Frugal and healthy... a nice meal. Thanks for sharing it on foodie friday.

Nici @ Posed Perfection September 9, 2012 at 12:26 AM  

I love soup dinners! I'm a new follower. I wanted to thank you for stopping by Posed Perfection today and leaving me sweet comments about the Sunny Seed Oatmeal Cookies and the Cottage Cheese Pancakes. I hope you'll visit again soon and maybe even follow me back. Thanks also for inviting me to your party. Have a wonderful Sunday!

madge | the vegetarian casserole queen September 9, 2012 at 6:29 AM  

Yum! I could eat soup, salad and bread every night but rarely think of serving it as dinner. Thanks for the inspiration...

Becky McNeer September 9, 2012 at 8:54 PM  

I need to get one of those bread machines! Love challah! Thanks for sharing your frugal tips at Foodtastic Friday! The soup sounds delish!

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds September 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM  

Ugh...why didn't I think of that?! I was just struggling last night with our menu for this coming week! Thanks so much for sharing this at Must Try Monday!

The Thriftiness Miss September 10, 2012 at 11:45 PM  

Looks like a yummy dinner to me :) Thanks so much for sharing this at the Weekend Wonders link party! Hope to see you back on Thursday Have a great day :)

Kathy September 11, 2012 at 9:43 PM  

This is a grand idea - imagine the aroma of soup and bread when you come home! I may make soup for tomorrow's dinner and make homemade bread - I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

Ambreen (Simply Sweet n Savory) September 12, 2012 at 8:04 AM  

Delicious meal! Thank you Laura for visiting & inviting me to link up. Sorry it took me some time. Have a great day!

Earning-My-Cape September 13, 2012 at 8:53 PM  

Yum! I LOVE Soup, Salad, & Bread night at our house! Your soup looks yummy!
Thanks for sharing with my Super Link Party! :-)

Love Bakes Good Cakes September 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM  

Thank you so much for sharing this at All my Bloggy Friends last week. I can't wait to see what you share tomorrow! :)

Julia Kendrick September 18, 2012 at 7:56 AM  

Looks good! Thanks for sharing! Your newest follower from

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