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Dump Soup & Leftovers

When I was a young teen, our family was invited to dinner at one of my father's co-worker's homes.  Daddy informed us ahead of time that he had been told it would be a simple meal; the co-worker had been diagnosed with cancer several months earlier, and had been given just a few months to live.  He and his wife had four young children.  He was calmly and courageously  preparing to leave them by purchasing and renovating an old three-plex so she would have rental income, and by sending her to secretarial school (this was at a time when most women were expected to stay home with their families).  The company where my Dad worked had already offered the wife a job when the time came.  You can imagine they were saving every penny to accomplish what had to be done. 

At dinner, we were served bread, a small serving of meat loaf with mashed potatoes, and a large bowl of some kind of soup.   My mother asked about the soup.

"It's dump soup," one of the children promptly volunteered. Naturally we were puzzled.  Finally our hostess explained, rather embarrassed.

"Twice a week we take all the leftovers, dump them in a soup pot with a can of tomatoes and some seasonings, and call it Dump Soup.  We can't afford to waste anything."

I've never forgotten that meal, and regularly fix "dump soup" myself, with a salute to that brave lady.   The chicken or turkey bones left after the bird is carved, or a ham or roast bone, is pressure cooked or simmered with a tablespoon of lemon juice to extract the flavor and minerals.  I check the veggie drawers in the fridge and add any produce that needs to be used.  Leftover veggies, beans, rice or noodles go into the strained broth, along with any bits of meat.   A can of tomatoes and sometimes one of beans, with a little seasoning,  and a thrifty, tasty soup is born.  (P.S.  You don't have to call it dump soup!)

  • Buy a refrigerator thermometer and hang it where you can see it.  Keep your fridge at 40 F°
  • Wash your hands before handling food.
  • Prepare meat and eggs away from other food; clean up and sterilize surfaces and utensils promptly afterwards.
  • Refrigerate leftover food right away.  Shallow dishes will cool foods faster.
  • Cover foods before you refrigerate.  Not only will that prevent drying, but cross-contamination as well.

Be safe, and enjoy!

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Web Site by Bess W. Metcalf   CopyrightŠ April 1999 - 201
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