Rainy day = Soup craving

It was a dark and rainy night…. Sounds sort of like the start to any number of mystery novels, right? For me, it was an evening that called for soup for dinner. Growing up, I don’t remember liking soup that much, and up until a few years ago, I didn’t prepare it too often for my family. Lately, however, I found that soup is not only a tasty but usually an economical way to feed our family. Although technically I created this recipe myself, I definitly borrowed from others I have made in the past. If it appeals to you, I hope you enojoy making it! One of the reasons I’m posting it is because of the low cost and the fact that the ingredients may already be in your pantry or fridge. It’s nothing fancy or involved, but there are days when simple is all I want to prepare for dinner. Pantry cooking is something I’m trying to do more of this year, and I’ve met with varying results and success. There are days where I feel like Old Mother Hubbard, but on the whole, I can usually find 3 or 4 items that can be combined with fresh or frozen ingredients to create a hearty dinner. I will say, though, that the cook n’ serve chocolate pudding casserole with quick cook oats and diced tomatoes was a definite fail. HA (I’m kidding! I’m kidding…)

I estimated that this recipe, which yielded my stock pot oven full and gave us dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day, was around $8.00. I had 2 lbs. of ground turkey in the freezer that I bought on sale for $.99/lb, purchased the egg noodles for $.99, got a pound of baby carrots for $.69, had a couple ribs of celery in the produce drawer and leftover onion from the day before, added two cans of cream soup to thicken it at $1 or less a can (I stocked up on these between Thanksgiving and Christmas when they were dirt cheap), and used my chicken soup base for the broth. I added breadsticks to serve with the meal which were about $5.00, keeping the total cost of this meal under $15. If you have a family smaller than ours, of course you can halve this recipe and still have good results. I’m used to cooking for a herd, so I just kept my amounts to what I’d used.

Turkey Noodle Soup

2 lbs. ground turkey, cooked and drained
1 lb carrots, shredded (this can be adjusted to taste and preference)
1 onion, minced finely
2 celery ribs, sliced finely
16 oz egg noodles, cooked for half time specified on package and drained
10 c. water
chicken soup base (you could also use canned chicken broth or homemade equal to 10 c.)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
parsley, salt, and pepper (I also added minced garlic, because I have to)

Bring water and base (or broth) to a boil, reserving about a cup of broth. Add shredded carrots, celery, and onion to the pot and continue to boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until carrots are tender. In a separate bowl, combine cream soup and reserved broth and whisk together until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low, then add turkey, noodles, and cream soup mixture, stirring well. Add parsley and seasonings to taste. Heat thoroughly and serve with green salad and breadsticks, if desired.

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