Stretch Your Buck With Soups & Stews

3 Peasant Dishes Fit For Royalty

It’s definitely October!  The air is cool and crisp, the heat is on, and it’s time to cook up some of our hearty Fab & Fru favorites that are long on flavor – when you’re short on cash! Around the world, stews, soups and other one pot meals are fondly referred to as peasant food because these frugal favorites are often made with just a few simple ingredients that go a long, long, flavorful way!  In particular, stews and soups are a great way to stretch a small amount of pricey protein and turn it into a feast for an entire group.  And aside from their money saving magic, who doesn’t look forward to sitting on the couch under a blanket with a big, warm bowl of something delicious, watching back to back episodes of Glee?

Whatever you have on your DVR, here’s what’s stewing in our kitchen…

Mediterranean Cod Stew

As you may have guessed, something fishy is going on here!  Sure, when you think of stews you probably think of hearty meat dishes like beef Bourguinnone.  Instead of the usual meat stew, why not give this Mediterranean inspired dish a health hearty try?! With  ingredients like cod and quinoa, this Fab & Fru stew packs a double protein punch…without your wallet taking a hit!

Stew up this delish dish for a quick and easy dinner party, or eat it cuddled up with your family by the fire.  An added bonus, this recipe is perfect for throwing in any leftover veggies you might have laying around so they don’t go to waste. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser  – hook, line and sinker!

Crazy for Kreplach

Most cultures have some form of hearty peasant food that takes the form of a savory filling wrapped in dough.   Think ravioli, wontons, or even perogis – but what about the humble KREPLACH? Anyone else out there raised on this delicious Jewish delicacy?

With a little effort and very little cash, nothing beats the comfort food factor of a steaming bowl of kreplach soup on a chilly night. So what exactly is kreplach? It’s just dough wrapped into small dumplings around the filling of your choice – usually ground meat, but you can also make it vegetarian. I’ve even heard it referred to as ‘Jewish Ravioli’ — but isn’t ‘Kreplach’ just more fun to say?

Matzoh ball soup has become so ubiquitous, that I wouldn’t be surprised to see it at McDonald’s. However, kreplach soup  is still right out of the old country.   And it’s a very versatile feast!  I grew up eating the ground beef stuffed dumplings in chicken soup, but you can certainly substitute chicken or potatoes or any other filling you desire, depending on your taste and how much time and money you want to spend.   You have the added versatility of serving it fried as a side dish in addition to my favorite way – as soup.  Kreplach also freezes extremely well – whether in broth or on its own!

I suggest if you are taking the time to make homemade Krepach, to save time on the broth and just buy some inexpensive organic chicken broth at the store and doctor it up with your favorite veggies and herbs.  Your family may have a fancier recipe, but the basic kreplach recipe off the Chabad website is super scrumptious and simple enough for beginners!

Short ‘On Cash’ Ribs

When we first ran this recipe from Andrew Bernheimer, we were all amazed at just how inexpensive a seemingly ritzy dish like this could actually be.  I have ordered short ribs in some of the fanciest restaurants in town and paid north of $30 for a bowl!  So, we were thrilled to discover that despite it’s reputation as fancy fare, short ribs are actually a very inexpensive cut of meat, which only taste and look expensive!

Served atop his equally mouthwatering Truffled Mashed Potatoes, you’ve got a truly Fab & Fru feast – for less than half what you would pay for the same meal in a fine restaurant!

Souped Up Savings

Necessity is, of course, the mother of invention.  And it’s no secret as to why  peasant food from all around the world shares so many similar characteristics.  Proteins like meat and fish clearly cost the most to buy, but these Fab & Fru faves stretch your protein of choice and your dollar, to help you create cool weather feasts for the entire family!

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One Response to “Stretch Your Buck With Soups & Stews”

  1. Betsy says:

    The recipes sound delicious!!!

Any Thoughts?