Dearest reader my thoughts have latterly turned to economy. Probably not so much of a surprise given the amount we have recently spent on our house renovations.
It's true to say I am always mindful of cost, but only in relation to quality. I really do not want to seek out the cheapest of goods or food, rather the best value.
I work hard for my money and spend it in a balanced way.
We eat very well and almost everything is prepared from scratch.
We are meat eaters, but I'm very concerned about the welfare of animals, and will not buy 'suspect' or cheap meat or chicken.
My latest notion is to cook more vegetarian meals, which should not only be cheaper but more healthy. As long as they are not supplemented by huge amounts of cheese, (always a temptation).
This morning I had fresh soups on my shopping list. I do make them usually, in fact I made a very warming carrot and ginger one at the weekend, but I fancied something a bit more unusual.
I tootled along the aisle in my local supermarket but couldn't find any inspiration, then I saw a nice pot of Minestrone. Hang on I thought, I must have all those ingredients at home, I should really make it myself.
Within 30 minutes of getting home I had a huge pot of Minestrone bubbling away on the stove. I filled the big saucepan, thinking cook once eat at least 4 times, for both Mr.S&P and myself, (the pan holding 4 litres)
If I had bought the soup ready made it would cost (Asda price) £1.97 per 600 gr carton. I think the whole 4 litre pot probably cost less than £2.50.
So a good start.
I thought I would share my 'new' recipes as I cook them. You never know I might inspire you, I do hope so.
I didn't really measure out any ingredients, just gauged it by eye, so I hope that works for you too.
Take a big pot and pour in a glug of olive oil. Add carrots, celery and leaves if any, and onions all roughly chopped into bite size pieces.
Next some chopped greens,( minus the bloomin caterpillars) and basil, ours were both grown from seed in our green house.
Stir all until wilted and coated with oil then add chopped garlic.
Heat through for a couple of minutes then add 2 x tinned tomatoes and a tin of beans. I bought these on special offer, but you could use any beans you want, obvs.
Lastly, top up the soup almost to the brim with stock, then add a small amount of dried Oregano and a couple of handfuls of dried pasta.
This is a great recipe for using up the small amounts of dried pasta that get left in bags when they aren't quite enough for a main meal.
Scraps into the compost pot of course.