I’m going to try this recipe feature again. Hopefully it works right this time and only publishes once. I was asked to post a budget-stretching recipe today, so I decided to share my Chicken Cabbage Soup, which is based on Anytime Soup found in The Schwarzbein Principle. If I’m really honest, it is just a variant based on what I had and felt like putting in it.
Start with some chicken. The original recipe calls for 1 lb of chicken parts or soup bones, but I grabbed 1.68 lbs of organic boneless thighs at the supermarket today, so I put it all in. You could also use a leftover chicken carcass from the roast you cooked the night before, but my children picked that poor thing completely clean. This soup saves up very well. I know it isn’t a tested recipe, but I pressure can it. If using bone-in chicken, throw it in the pot as is. I like to use drumsticks and/or thighs because they fit easily into the pot. If using boneless chicken, chop it up first. Toss the chicken into a heavy-bottomed stainless steel soup pot. My soup pot holds 8 quarts, and I filled it about three-quarters full for this particular recipe.
Next collect some vegetables. In the photo above, we have 1) organic celery that has been in the bottom of the crisper and is looking rather sad, 2) carrots from Aldi, 3) cabbage from the farmers’ market, 4) tomatoes from the neighbor’s garden, 5) garlic from my mother’s garden, and 6) thyme and 7) basil from my own garden.
Chop up the carrots, celery and tomatoes. Quarter, core, and shred the cabbage. Smash the garlic. I love smashing garlic. It is so satisfying, but in reviewing YouTube videos for instructions, it seems I do it slightly differently than everyone else. For the thyme, I held the top end and then stripped the leaves off by pinching the stem and sliding my fingers down to the bottom. The basil I just pinched off the leaves and then chopped them up. Toss all of this into the pot with the chicken.
Pour some water or chicken broth over it all. This time I used 2 quarts of water because my broth was still in process on the other stove burner. Remember that you don’t want the liquid to come above your veggies when you start because the veggies will cook down. Halfway up the mixture of meat and veggies is good. Season with some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then let simmer while you attend kindergarten orientation. It would be fine with just a half hour of simmering, too. You do want to make sure you simmer it long enough to cook the chicken.
Since this is a budget stretching meal, here is what it cost me to make it.
- Organic chicken – $11.74 ($6.99/lb)
- Organic celery – $0.30 (I used five or six ribs from a bunch that cost $1.99)
- Carrots – $0.60 (roughly half of a 2# bag at $1.19)
- Tomatoes – free from my neighbor (would have cost about $3 at supermarket)
- Organic garlic – free from my mom (would have cost about $0.70 for a whole non-organic bulb – I used two cloves)
- Herbs – free (organic herbs cost $2.29 each at my supermarket, so probably totaled less than $1 for what I used)
- Salt and pepper – such miniscule amounts that they probably cost a fraction of a penny.
Altogether, this cost me personally $12.64 or thereabouts. If I had to buy all of my ingredients, it would be about $16.74, provided I used the remainder of the ingredients in other meals. This pot of soup will feed a small army, so the per serving cost is very low, maybe a dollar each. You can also bring the cost down further by not buying organic, if you aren’t concerned about such things (I am).