Sunday, November 6, 2011

How many cans of Mushroom Soup can you use?

“Hey, did you hear that Smith’s has a sale on Campbell’s Mushroom Soup for 49 cents?”  That was the lead in that began the conversation to start a food storage program.  The concept stirs a number of responses and reactions from survivalist extremes to grind your own wheat but I think the best reason to begin a food storage program is that IT SAVES MONEY.  There are many ways and methods to begin and the free on-line book outlines a simple way to begin.  My friends at Food Storage Made Easy can give even more advanced plans and ideas. 

So what would one do with 50 cans of cream of mushroom soup?  Here are my family’s top easy preparation recipes that even the kids can help make:

Tater Tot Casserole
Brown 1 to 1 ½ lb. of ground beef
Drain and layer on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
Cover with tater tots
Spread mushroom soup over the top.
Cover with grated Cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour covered with foil or without.  I prefer without.

Serves 4 to 6 people.

Chicken with Mushroom soup gravy
(This recipe also works with pieces of round steak)
Wash chicken pieces and pat dry.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Cover with flour.
Brown in skillet
Place in baking dish
Cover with 1 or 2 cans of mushroom soup depending on how many are being served and how much gravy is desired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serve with rice or stuffing and vegetable of your choice.

Chicken Rice Soup
Boil chicken pieces in water until tender.  I use the pieces that are not the family favorites such as backs.  Thighs make the tastiest soups. (You can save the breasts for the recipe above.) Place in refrigerator overnight.  The broth will cool and any grease will rise to the top.  Skim off and discard.  Remove meat from bones and cut meat into small pieces.  Return to broth in pot and reheat.

Here is the SECRET to tasty soup: In a separate pan sauté your favorite or left over vegetables.  My favorites for this are garlic, fresh ginger, onions, celery, and mushrooms.  Even a few water chestnuts make a nice addition.
Add sautéed vegetables to soup base and add any additional vegetables you might like such as broccoli, frozen mixed vegetables, or asparagus.

Continue to taste soup and add salt and pepper to taste.  I use Patis as a substitute for salt. It is a Pilipino seasoning.  If you try this be very careful!  It is very salty and a teaspoon goes a long way but I prefer the flavor which is incidentally made of anchovies.
About 15 minutes before serving add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and 1 cup or so of rice. Too much and you will have a casserole. These two ingredients are what will turn the soup from an accompaniment to a rib sticking meal.  Serve with cornbread; garlic French bread, or grilled cheese sandwiches.
I have purposefully not listed specific amounts of each ingredient first of all because this is the way I learned to make soup and second because my best tasting soups have been ones that I have dug through the refrigerator looking for leftovers and by the time I thought of writing it down had forgotten all that I had put in.  Each one was different and unique.

Food storage step one?
  • 12 cans corn
  • 4 cans green beans
  • 4 cans French cut green beans
  • 10 cans Cream of Chicken
  • 38 cans Cream of Mushroom
  • 6 Low sodium chicken broth
  • 8 cans Chili
Total cans = 82
Total cost = under $44 dollars.


Practical Parsimony said...

That is how I got started, not prepping, but spending less on food, just buying as many cans on sale as I could. Some weeks that was only five cans ON SALE. I only bought extra food if it was on sale at a good price.

About a month ago, Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup and Tomato Soup were on sale for $.50/can. Now, both are $1.79. I only bought 6 cans and used a coupon, making them $.40/can. Since I rarely use either of these soups much, it will last the winter for my needs.

I think some people are discouraged by the price tags for the weekly buying. Even buying several cans a week can add up and make stocking up seem more doable. Discouragement can cause people to not buy extra. I read FSME and get lots of good tips and ideas. Although I cannot do all at ome time what they list for the week or month, I can do something. That is the most important when a person is under budget constraints--do something.

The thing that they do very well is to keep people moving forward with their lists. They jog the brain about what actually needs to be done. Good site.

I might buy more mushroom if it were $.50 or Cream of for the gods.

Carol Schultz said...

Many times the store offers house brands that are similar in quality but when it comes to mushroom soup Campbell's definately makes the best. Your suggestion of looking for the coupons and having them ready also stretches the dollar even farther.

Kris @ Everyday Tips said...

I use it for tuna casserole and salmon loaf. My family loves both dishes. I use the cream of chicken soup for a chicken and rice bake that I love.