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Cooking Soups And Stews

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. 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!

By Sandi/Poor But Proud from Salem, OR

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17 More Solutions

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: http://www.thriftyfun.com/Recipes/Soups_reccat.html

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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.

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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

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 12, 2005

Tips for making good soup. Post your ideas.

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Answers

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

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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

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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.

Regards

Jo

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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!

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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.

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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

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Archives

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.

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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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