Cooking Soups And Stews

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
July 31, 2011

You sage cooks out there already know this. But, we all had to start from scratch when learning to cook, so this tip is for the "newbies"!

When cooking stews, soups and such, getting the fat out is just as easy as 1 and 2 and 3

  1. When the pot is out of the oven or slow cooker, make sure it's good and hot.
  2. Seal cellophane (I was out so I used a clear plastic bag but cellophane works best) around the top of the liquid (it actually has to touch) then around the top edge of the container. No air can escape or it won't work. Sometimes for a good seal, invert the lid and press down inside. You can even leave it on there if it helps to seal it well.
  3. Soup with plastic over top

  4. Put in the fridge to cool.

When your food has cooled, simply lift off the top and all that congealed fat will come up with the plastic. It's basic chemistry, but it works every single time. Throw the cellophane away and enjoy the food with virtually no fat left in it!

Removing plastic with fat attached

By Sandi/Poor But Proud from Salem, OR

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 101 Feedbacks
September 7, 2011

It is much cheaper to use a chuck roast than packaged stew meat when you make a stew. It takes no time at all to cut the roast!


March 3, 2010

When I find that my soups or stews or too thin or watery, I add instant mashed potatoes for the desired thickness. It works every time. And it's better than adding flour or cornstarch.


October 2, 2009

To make tastier vegetables soups and stews, I always add a package of instant brown gravy mix for the last 15 minutes of cooking. It also gives them a wonderful color and well as concentrated flavor.


March 26, 2012

If you like your soup a little thicker, sprinkle a small amount of instant potato buds/flakes into the already hot soup. Stir and wait for the soup to thicken. It is so good and easy!


February 22, 2011

To thicken meat sauces such as Bolognese, try using porridge oats. It's delish! To thicken soups or sauces, try using instant potato flakes - no more lumps and very tasty.


November 4, 2004

Sometimes I have added too much liquid to my homemade stew. If I don't have time to simmer the stew, to reduce the liquid, I add about a quarter cup or so of instant oatmeal.


May 29, 2012

If you have enough time before starting your stew, freeze your meat almost but not quite, solid, then chop it into whatever size chunks you need. The almost frozen meat doesn't slide around on the cutting board as much, and you are much less likely to slice yourself!


April 23, 2010

I already had leftover pot roast to which I added cooked carrots and heated all in thinned leftover gravy. To this mixture, I added the cut up leftover french fries. Voila! The fries were just like regular potato pieces in the stew.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 166 Posts
September 8, 2006

When you are preparing a stew or pot roast recipe that calls for browning the meat, put your meat on a rack in a shallow pan and broil on high until the top is browned.


February 14, 2008

To thicken up a stew, use mashed potato flakes. It gives you that potato flavor. Instead of boiling your meat and veggies in water, use beef broth. Great stuff.


December 4, 2004

In the winter one of the things I do to try to stretch our budget is to make hearty stews and soups. It doesn't cost much to make a crockpot full of beef, chicken, or veggie stew or soup. It is filling, even by itself, but I also like to make a batch or homemade biscuits or some cornbread. Makes a great meal and cheap! By Robin. Editor's Note: Find some soup recipes here:


May 6, 2004

Once a week, make a big pot of stew or homemade soup, a pound of meat and some vegetables can be stretched into an inexpensive, filling and healthy dish.


November 16, 2004

To eliminate fat from soups, stews, gravies, etc. drop an ice cube into the pot. Stir and fat will cling to the cubes. Discard cubes before they melt. By Robin



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

May 12, 2005

Tips for making good soup. Post your ideas.



Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
December 2, 20040 found this helpful

Most soups taste better with the addition of a variety of vegetables and grains, a good way to use up small quantities. One exception is cabbage, which gives most soups too strong a flavor for us, but might suit others.

By Lynn


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
December 3, 20040 found this helpful

Soups often taste more filling if they are slightly thickened. Instant or leftover potatoes can be used to thicken soup, or mash a few beans and add back in.

By Lynn


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 104 Feedbacks
December 3, 20040 found this helpful

All vegetable soups have to have lots of carrots and onions for me - sweet and lovely! I thicken with split yellow peas or red lentils - they don't need pre soaking if simmered in the soup for at least an hour. They also add the protein component so a vegetable soup can be tasty and nourishing without meat.




December 3, 20040 found this helpful

Everytime you make a vegetable with your meal that you don't eat all, just place the leftovers into a baggy and freeze. When you want to make soup put all of you veggies into a pot and cook to your liking!
Add meat and enjoy!

By Susan. (Guest Post)
December 12, 20040 found this helpful

Whenever I roast meat I save the drippings in the bottom of the pan (deglaze with water) and freeze. When I make soup I add this for lots of flavor. I don't make gravy, usually, since it bothers my husbands ulcers, and this is a good way to not waste all that flavor.


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
December 16, 20040 found this helpful

Take a hint from the big soup companies. To make a soup look like it has more meat in it, chop the meat into small bites instead of big chunks.


By Lynn

By (Guest Post)
December 16, 20040 found this helpful

Roast your bones till dark brown before you start your soup. It'll be richer and tastier. Reduce your
stock if you have the time and then freeze it for future soups.

December 17, 20040 found this helpful

If you want a lovely different flavor for your vegetable soup take 2Tbl. of whole allspice wrap in foil or cheesecloth and tie the top. If you use foil make sure you poke holes in it with a fork so the broth can seep through and just leave it in there while your soup simmers. Yum Yum. Delicious! I learned this from a old Welsh woman.


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May 12, 20050 found this helpful

I save and freeze onion skins and celery tops for use when I make soup.

By Sylvia Belle

By CarolinaGirl (Guest Post)
May 13, 20050 found this helpful

I was taught this simple trick from my mother-in-law. Browns a couple lbs hamburger meat, drain the grease, add leftover vegies, and/or canned ones, and pour a can of V-8 over that, presto, soup!


Of course it does smell so good throughout the house if you cook it slow for several hours as in a crock pot.

By box of bees (Guest Post)
May 18, 20050 found this helpful

Almost any soup can be brought up a notch by adding 1 tsp of sour cream.


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
May 18, 20050 found this helpful

Don't overlook those cheap, though perhaps unfamiliar meats in your butchers case. Pork neck bones are terrific with bean soup, and fresh ham hocks, <not smoked> are excellent with Rice or Ramen noodles. Skim after bringing to a boil, and if you refrigerate for 4 hrs after cooking you can remove additional fats that float to the top without losing the flavor.



August 22, 20050 found this helpful

Save the juice from drained hamburger meat. (I use ground chuck because it has a lot less fat than regular, and I get more juice.) Put it in a container in the freezer (skim off fat first), then each time you brown ground beef, pour the juice in the same container. If you use a lot of ground beef, it won't be long until you have enough to add flavor and nutrition to your soup. Also, you can boil chicken wing tips that no one eats for more chicken broth. Great in soups! A teaspoon or cube of chicken bouillon adds a lot of flavor, too.

January 31, 20080 found this helpful

Making any kind of soup, in order to thicken, take some of the vegetables with a little bit of liquid, put into a blender then pour it back into the soup. It keeps the calories down.

By sarah (Guest Post)
August 7, 20080 found this helpful

Adding a can or two of spinach to a veggie soup really helps thicken it and gives a good healthy flavor.

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November 4, 2008

I am looking for a thick noodle to add to chicken noodle soup. I've had it at restaurants; it's like a thick fettuccine noodle. Any ideas?

Nancy from Palatine, IL


November 4, 20080 found this helpful

Sounds like egg noodles or egg noodle dumplings to me.

By karen (Guest Post)
November 4, 20080 found this helpful

I use Reames frozen noodles when I make homemade chicken and noodle soup. Look in frozen food area and you can see if these are what you are looking for. When I make my chicken base I make a large amount and freeze what I am not using at the time.


That way I have the chicken base and just add more chicken broth and the noodles for a quick soup. Reames are great and easy. k


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
November 4, 20080 found this helpful

Sounds like egg noodles to me, too :-) I like to use spirals in soup ...

November 4, 20080 found this helpful

Sounds like homemade noodles. Simple to do. One egg to one cup flour plus a 1/4 tsp salt. Mix together to make a dough you can roll out. Knead it a little and then roll it out thinly and slice it as wide as you like. Let the noodles dry before boiling them. My kids love homemade noodles in soup or with sauce, etc.

By Darla H. (Guest Post)
November 4, 20080 found this helpful

I think what you are looking for is called "kluski noodles". They are a egg noodle that is very similar to homemade.

November 4, 20080 found this helpful

What you want are called Klusky noodles. Amish noodles are also a thick noodle. I have a delicious ham/noodle casserole that calls for the Klusky noodles.

November 4, 20080 found this helpful

Yep, sounds like homemade noodles. I make them.. dry them a short time, and drop them in soup or broth. No matter how thin i roll them out, they still end up thick. We love them. They are filling and so tasty. Easy to make. Basically they are flour, some eggs, and tiny bit of water. Most recipes online will give you the portions.

By Janet45101 (Guest Post)
November 4, 20080 found this helpful

Perhaps you are looking for linguine. Hope this helps.

By cindy (Guest Post)
November 4, 20080 found this helpful

I'm in the Atlanta, GA area, and we have noodles or dumplings in the frozen section of the grocery store. They're usually close to the frozen breads/rolls/biscuits. There are 2-3 kinds, and I use them for chicken and dumplings. So much easier than making your own! Good luck!

By Nancy (Guest Post)
November 5, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you all so much!

By Mary Belle (Guest Post)
November 5, 20080 found this helpful

They aren't real thick but you can use flour tortilla wrappers.

If you want to ROLL them out mix:

2 cups self rising flour with
1 cup Hot broth and mix with a fork QUICKLY.

Place on floured surface and roll 1/2 as thick as you want them to be [as they fluff up] Cut into wide or thin strips and drop as long of a piece as you want into the boiling broth and cook till they float and have a shine to them. Hope you enjoy them. Mary Belle

November 5, 20080 found this helpful

Hello you are definitely talking about egg noodles and they can be found in the grocery store by the pasta. When you make your Chicken Noodle Soup and it's almost done, scramble up 2 eggs and pour it in the soup pot and mix together, you then will have Egg Drop Chicken Noodle Soup which is so good. Enjoy!

By (Guest Post)
November 8, 20080 found this helpful

Kluski noodles are very good in chicken noodle soup, they are a little thicker and taste really good in the soup. My grandmother also makes whats called "spetzles" you just take flour, egg, and a little salt and mix together until very thick and then you spoon drop them in boiling water and when they rise they are done. They are very good in potato soup, chicken noodle soup, and even good if you fry them up in some butter and even add some garlic salt and onions.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
May 16, 20160 found this helpful

It could be FUN noodles which are flat and wide and just great. Go to an Asian store and ask for them. They use them to make Beef Fun Chow. Or, do what I do and buy wide egg noodles at the grocery store.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 22, 2011

Puree canned carrots or mixed vegetables add vitamins and thicker texture to stews, soups and tomato sauces.


March 1, 2010

Thicken soups and stews with instant mashed potato flakes. More nutritious and flavorful than corn starch or flour.

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