As I’m writing this post it’s late-June and I have a pot of soup on the stove for supper. Two days ago it was quite warm and more salad weather than soup weather but last night a storm came through and has left a cold dreary day behind. Once again perfect for soup weather.
When we started building our food storage we did so with a focus on the basics. Items that could be turned into simple meals.
Soup definitely fits this category.
As we lean more toward providing our own food we started planning our garden based on items that we could preserve or store to use for soups. I’ll admit, gardening is still a work in progress for us so at this point we do rely more on purchasing food storage items than growing our own but a goal and plan for the future is very helpful.
Sharing this post when it is “officially” summer may seem odd to many but several of our pantry items for soups and stews are either grown in the garden, purchased at the farmers market or produce given by friends that I need to preserve. It’s definitely the season for gardening and preserving!
Throughout history soup has been a way to combine edible items into a nourishing and sustaining meal. You probably know the nursery rhyme that goes “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.” I’d heard that this was based on peasant people keeping a pot over the fire and adding to it each day to stretch their food.
My limited research indicates that this is more of a hoax than a fact but it is likely that peasant cottages did combine beans, grains, vegetables and sometimes meat into a soup or stew that was referred to as pottage.
It’s not likely that the ‘leftovers’ were kept for more than a day or two. 🙂
Using the same idea from history we’ve focused on building and keeping our food storage stocked with items that can be made in to simple and tasty stews and soups.
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Here’s a list of the items we keep on hand, divided by category, to create nourishing and delicious soups.
- Rice (assorted varieties)
- Rice Pasta (assorted shapes)
Beans and Legumes
- Several assorted varieties – both dry and canned (I’ll be adding home canned this year and hopefully attempting to grow bean in our garden soon)
- Tomatoes – canned and dehydrated including tomato powder (I do try to grow these)
- Carrots – fresh (store well long term) and dehydrated (I do try to grow these)
- Onion – fresh (store well long term) and dehydrated (I do try to grow these)
- Potatoes (store well long term, we do grow these)
- Beets (store fairly well long term, we do grow these)
- Turnips (store fairly well long term, we do grow these)
- Cabbage (store fairly well for long term, dehydrate and turn into kraut as a “topper” for soup)
- Greens – such as kale, collard, spinach, chard (great for soups when in season, freeze and/or dehydrate for winter use)
- Garlic/Garlic powder – dehydrated (I haven’t grown these but should)
- Bell peppers – dehydrated
- Chives – dehydrated
- Dried herbs (variety, trying to grow some)
- Squash (summer and winter) – (I try to grow these and use fresh in season or dehydrate)
- Miscellaneous items – commercial canned in small amounts such as organic corn, olives and pimentos
- Assorted meats – frozen, dried and canned (home canned and commercial canned)
- Animals on the hoof – chicken and ducks for fresh (stewing) meat and eggs, plus goats (more animals planned for the future)
- Assorted fish – commercial canned and frozen
- Bones- the basis for a tasty, nutrition soup – (frozen) for broth or canned broth (I’m doing home canned this year)
We keep a variety of different spices on hand. I can’t list them all but I’ll give you an idea: curry powder, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, assorted dried herbs, and a few types of flavored salts. We also keep condiments like soy sauce and vinegar varieties that are flavor enhancers for soups.
While not an actual food category and not exactly a storage item, many of our soups are made out of leftovers in the fridge or freezer. It’s amazing how good these turn out! Using leftovers in this manner enables us to enjoy a new meal out of something “old” and also helps reduce food waste which cuts down on our food expenses.
Check out these links for soup/stew recipes
While most of the soups and stews we eat are created while I’m standing at the stove here are a few that I’ve written down and made often because they are soooo good. 😉
Here’s a great idea — Soup from Lambs Quarter leaves! This is something that grows wild and in abundance on my property. I thought it was a weed until last year. Now we let it grow as it wishes (and grow it does) the goats love it and so do we.
I love this information from Black Fox Homestead on Planting a Soup Garden.
Is this something you do for your food storage? Please share any tips or ideas.
Homemade bread is delicious with soup. Learn how to create your own artisan sourdough breads, cakes, and muffins, in this 154-page, 25-lesson sourdough eCookbook, adventure guide and learning community all in one from Traditional Cooking School — Sourdough A to Z.
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