Soup Challenge — #5

Ok, some of you might think my soup of the week challenge fell by the wayside and it sort of did in December and most of  January.  We still ate soups, but I just didn’t get to write about them.  It’s time to start again posting about them again.  So here goes….

Last night I made home made tomato soup and toasted cheese tortillas (home made as well). I know I made tomato soup as our first week’s challenge, but this week I changed it up a bit to make it easier and quicker. We had planned to go to church in the evening and my hubby and I ran around most of the day on errands and things, so quick and easy, not to mention healthy and cheap, were the buzz words for dinner.

I can’t really share a recipe per say but I can tell you what I did and maybe you can adapt it yourself.

What I used:

2 quarts of home canned spaghetti sauce–chunky version

1 cup milk

salt to taste

Last week I made a batch of spaghetti sauce that was slightly on the thin side so I could try to use it for soup as well.  I poured 2 quarts into a big pot and added a cup of milk and  warmed it up until it was steaming.  While that was heating up, I made the tortillas and melted cheese on top.

Not telling anyone how I made the soup, it was served up.  One right off the bat was excited that it had chunks of tomato in it rather then being a creamy soup.  Others said it was very good.  One thought it was a little too much like marinara sauce, but a quick shot of salt cured that.  All the soup was consumed, all the tortillas eaten.  A very quick, healthy meal on a cold and rainy night.


Overall Review:

  • extra quick since all I had to do was open the jars, add milk, and heat
  • healthy…ingredients were tomatoes, water, milk, and spices
  • affordable
  • 6 thumbs up



Soup Challenge – Week 4

Can you believe we are already on week 4 of our soup challenge?  Time is going by so quickly.  This week I bring you what I will call Throw It Together Taco Soup.  This really is a fly by the seat of your pants recipe, so adjust accordingly to your tastes.

What I used:


1 lb lean ground beef

1 lb ground turkey

1 small onion

1 can vegetarian refried beans

1/2 cup taco seasoning (equivalent of two premade packages)

1 can of corn

1 can of black beans

1 can of tomato sauce

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 slow cooker or crock pot


What I did:

First things first, I chopped the onion and cooked it with the ground beef, turkey, and refried beans.  After draining off the fat, I put the mix in the crock pot, added enough water to cover it, then added all of the other ingredients listed.  Once stirred, I set the lid on the crock pot, set it to medium and walked away from it.  Eight hours later, I made some home made tortilla chips and we sat down to a wonderfully hot and hearty supper.



  • incredibly easy to make
  • affordable
  • 6 out of 6 thumbs up


And when ice is falling from the sky, it’s really nice to have an easy and warm soup to heat things up.


Soup of the Week – Week 3

Our Soup of the Week is “survival soup”.  It is a very easy soup to make if you have the ingredients on hand.  This one can be made if the power is out, you are camping, you are busy running the kids to and from football practice all day, or you just don’t feel like cooking.  It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s still a healthy soup.


Ingredients we used:

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried White Chicken

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried White Turkey

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Super Sweet Corn

Sweet Peas



Egg Noodles


salt and pepper to taste

Fill large pot about halfway full and add about 2 cups chicken, turkey, or some of both, about 2 cups or so of corn, 2 cans of drained peas, 2 cans of mushrooms and bring to a boil.  This will also re-hydrate your freeze dried meats and vegetables so you might need to add more water.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, add noodles and cook as per manufactures directions (in our case, we went about 8 minutes).  Add any salt or pepper to taste. (This will feed a large family with leftovers so adjust your amounts accordingly)

Once the noodles are cooked, serve up and eat a steamy bowl of soup that is still healthy, hearty, and very quick to make.

Again, this is great if the power is out as long as you can heat water (which you can do outside using an Eco-Zoom stove like I showed here.  It’s quick and easy for those times when life is running you ragged but you still need a quick meal for the family.  Or, even if you are not feeling well and still need to get dinner on the table.  Honestly, I think it took longer for us to photograph everything then it took for us to cook the meal.  Enjoy.

Oh, here’s a quick look at the freeze dried corn and chicken before adding to the soup:

And then after a few minutes in water:



  • 7 thumbs up from the family
  • warm and good on a cold and chilly night
  • filling
  • easy to make




Soup Of The Week – Week 2

I am a little late posting our week 2 soup.  This week was full of soup challenges.  We were going to make steak soup, but that didn’t happen.  I made a batch of squash soup and let me say, that was a huge fail!  Three of out of the four people who took a taste said no way where they going to eat it.  I was one of those people. The fourth, I think would have choked it down, but just to spare my feelings. Total failure.

Thankfully, Cary, over at Serenity Farms came to my rescue this week.  She has taken up the soup challenge and made this squash soup recipe and posted it.  Whew….she saved my squash soup attempt.  I didn’t follow her recipe to the letter, but used it as a guide and we really liked it.

Ingredients Used:

Large butternut squash

3 medium potatoes (skins left on)

1 large onion

2 celery stalks (I used celery I had dehydrated earlier this summer)

1 cup apple juice (also canned earlier this summer)

6 cups water

2 cups milk

2 tbsp butter

salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter in pot and add diced onions.  Cook until translucent.  Add cubed squash (after peeling and seeding) and carmalize.

Add potatoes and celery and cook just a bit to brown the potatoes.

Then add apple juice and water, stir well and let cook for several hours.

Use stick blender and blend well to a creamy consistency.

Add milk, salt, and pepper and cook a bit more.

Serve with a bit of home made farmers cheese (or store bought if you wish…sigh…lol) and a toasted cheese sandwich made on home made bread and you’ve got a winner dinner.

Soup of the Week — Week 1

Cooler temperatures mean warm, hearty meals.  This season I want to challenge myself (and you) to create a different soup each week.  No set rules, no set day, just one different soup each week.  If you try one of my recipes be sure to let me know how you like it (or don’t like it).  If you create your own recipe, please share more about it so we can maybe try it too.

To kick of the challenge, this week is just your tomato soup.  When I was a kid, my mom loved that white and red label soup that was “mmm mmm good”.  I hated it.  We’d have it quite often though as it was affordable, quick, and easy.  As I grew older, I tolerated the soup and found myself feeding it to my family for the same reasons.  With as many people as we have in our family, and prices of food going up, I was finding that it wasn’t so affordable or quite so filling.  However, tomatoes are really good for us.  Considered both a fruit and a vegetable they are full of antioxidants, are good for the skin, lower cholesterol, help with hypertension and diabetes, and the list goes on.  So I was in search for a great home made tomato soup recipe.  I think I found it.

Remember, I cook for an army so you may have to adjust your amounts accordingly.

3 quarts tomato puree

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion diced

1/2 large green bell pepper diced

2 stalks of celery diced

2 cloves crushed garlic

6 cups water

3 to 4 tablespoons dried oregano

2 cups milk (I used whole milk)

In large stock pot, melt butter and cook onions and peppers until the onions are translucent.  Add tomato puree, celery, garlic, oregano, and water.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook.  I had mine cook for several hours (I supposed you could move it to a slow cooker at this point and just forget about it).  If you want a chunky soup, leave it as it is, but my kids thought it would be similar to eating warmed up salsa, so I used a stick blender to totally blend everything together to make it creamier.

** As it is, you could just stop now, can it up and use it later.  (Ball Blue Book would recommend this type of soup to be done in a pressure canner, 10 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes for quarts)  When ready to eat follow to the next step adjust milk accordingly (I’d estimate about 1/4 to a 1/3 a cup of milk per quart but you’d have to play around with that a little bit).

Add 2 cups of milk and stir well.  Let simmer until ready to eat.

I added freshly made whole wheat croutons and fresh queso blanco (white cheese) to balance it all out.

Normally my family will eat 2 or 3 bowls of that store bought  soup and still feel hungry.  Only 2 people went back for seconds and all the rest declared themselves quite full.


Overall Review:

  • thumbs up from all members of the family (that’s always a good thing)
  • taste was far superior then store bought canned soup and much more satisfying
  • cheaper to make (average store bought can costs about $1.00.  Our family needs about 8 or 9 cans then add in the cost of the milk).  Even if you bought a #10 can of tomatoes  at a bulk store, you would be saving roughly $6.00.
  • healthier  since you know exactly what you are putting in there and if you grew it in your garden, exactly where it all came from