No Croutons Required - The Frugal Roundup

The challenge this month was to create a soup or salad using store cupboard ingredients. No nipping out to the shops, although you were allowed to pop out to the garden.

I asked you to have a look in your cupboards and fridge and see what you could come up with and you didn't disappoint. Here are the entries:

Our first entry is a Hearty Tuscan Bean Soup made by Claire over at The Hungriest Hippo. Claire based her soup on a tin of tomatoes, a tin of butter beans and leftovers from her weekly organic vegetable box. The end result is a lovely rich soup, flavoured with a parmesan rind, oregano and thyme. Just perfect as a winter warmer.

(Edinburgh, Scotland)

Next we travel to Canada to visit Val from More Than Burnt Toast who has made us an Apple Orchard Salad. I think you will be impressed by Val's store cupboard. Val put together her salad using walnuts, apple cider vinegar, olive and grapeseed oils, dijon mustard, dried rosemary and parsley, dried cranberries and blueberries. Sounds delicious doesn't it?

(British Columbia, Canada)

Sheetal from Life is Beautiful, used my favourite ingredient to make her soup. Yep, you know me by now, I am talking about mushrooms. Sheetal teamed her mushrooms with scallions or spring onions as we call them here in Scotland to make a Creamy Mushroom & Scallion Soup seasoned with oregano and nutmeg. This gorgeous concoction was made as a get-well-soon soup. Wouldn't you love to have someone like Sheetal around when you are feeling poorly?

(Indiana, USA)

Time for another bowl of soup. This time a Chinese-Style Noodle Soup with Tatsoi courtesy of Rachel over at The Crispy Cook. Rachel went into the garden and plucked a bunch of crunchy Tatsoi, which was the only thing left from her spring planting and decided to make a chinese style soup, flavoured with garlic, ginger and soy sauce then bulked up with a good serving of rice stick noodles. Tasty and frugal!

(Saratoga County, NY, USA)

The next soup is a lovely thick and chunky bowlful of temptation, which is more like a stew and was dreamed up by the lovely Johanna over at Green Gourmet Giraffe. Johanna had beans and barley left over from making a hearty baked beans and chulent dish and based her stew on these two ingredients. To this she added kale, lima and cannellini beans, onions, garlic & tomatoes and then filled out the flavour base with red wine, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and mustard. She served her Bean, Barley and Tomato Stew topped with grated cheddar cheese. Mmmmmmm!

(Melbourne, Australia)

We travel to Paris next for a colourful Rajma(Red Kidney Beans)& Mixed Veggies Salad put together by Priyasuresh over at Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes. Red kidney beans/Rajma, tomatoes, carrots, french beans and mozzarella topped with a yoghurt dressing. Such a lovely combination or flavours and textures that would make the perfect lunch. I can just imagine the jealous glances now.

(Paris, France)

Next up is a Dhania Rassa (Spiced Tomato Coriander Soup) made for us by SE over at Denufood-Delicious & Nutritious Food. SE has made us a spicy tomato soup flavoured with coriander seeds, chilli powder, asafoetida, turmeric and fresh cilantro/coriander leaves and all tied up with some lovely memories of living in Tamil Nadu in India.

(Baltimore, USA)

We go all fruity next with another colourful salad, this time a Pineapple Salad made by Sadhana over at A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine. Fresh pineapple, red onion, green & red bell pepper lemon juice, jalapeno pepper, fresh ginger and fresh Cilantro (coriander). A lovely fresh salsa style salad, packed full of flavour.


Now it is time for Sweatha's entry. Sweatha blogs over at Tasty Curry Leaf and has made us a Balila which is a Lebanese Chickpea Salad. The chickpeas are mixed with salt, cumin powder, crushed garlic and olive oil, which forms the dressing and then pine nuts are fried in butter and added to the dish to give it a crunch. An exception side dish salad, I think you will agree.

(Bangalore, India)

For my entry I had a rake in the fridge to see what I had to work with and came up with a few carrots, a bit of celery and an onion. Not much, I know, but a good base for a Lentil Soup. I called my soup Leftovers Lentil Soup and spiced it up with chilli powder. I also added a splosh of balsamic vinegar. I seasoned it and had a taste, but decided it could do with something else. Coconut milk, that was just the thing and some cayenne pepper to sprinkle on before serving. It was very yummy, although a little hot, which pleased Graham no end.

(Dundee, Scotland)
not in vote

Next up is another salad. It is about time we had a salad with potatoes as a main ingredient and Lata from Flavours and Tastes kindly provided us with just that. Lata made us a Stuffed Tomatoes & Potatoes Salad. The tomatoes and potatoes are stuffed with onion, carrots, peas and yellow spilt lentils and seasoned with salt, paprika and dry mango powder. A pretty and appealing presentation on one seriously gorgeous plate.

(Accra, Ghana)

I would usually say we are off to the allotment next to visit my Scottish friend Mangocheeks, but this young lady has decided to plunder her store cupboard instead of her veggie patch for this dish. Mangocheeks serves up a rich Chickpea and Sun-Dried Tomato Soup. A tin of tomatoes and a tin of chickpeas were joined by onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, cumin, cayenne pepper and parsley to make this deletable tomato soup.

(West of Scotland)

We have another stuffed vegetable salad next. This time the vegetable or should that be fruit in question is the pepper, a green bell pepper. This one, a Roasted Pepper Couscous Salad was served up by Yasmeen over at Healthy Nut. The pepper is stuffed with a healthy mixture of edamame(baby soy beans), onion, tomato and turnip greens. Seasoned with chilli powder ,turmeric and cumin and topped with a sprinkling of fresh herbs.

(Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Our next entry is a Hawaiian Style Mixed Veggie Soup, brought to us by Saranya over at Saranya's Kitchen. This is a true leftovers soup. Saranya looked in her fridge and used all the veggies there to make this unusual soup, which turned into a great success, so great in fact that Saranya had eaten it all up before she remember about taking a photo. We will just have to use our imagination to picture this veg-packed soup. Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, peas, pineapple, turnip, onions, garlic and ginger.


We are visiting New York next to see Suzy over at Strong Arms for Kids. Suzy has made us a Squash, Sweet Potato Soup. Butternut squash and sweet potatoes are joined by onion, garlic, ginger, soy milk and soy sauce in this family favourite. If you want a soup that won't disappoint, in fact one that will impress, then this is the soup for you.

(New York, USA)

Next, we say hello to Kirsten over at From Kirsten's Kitchen to Yours. Kirsten has made us a Thai Carrot Ginger Soup. Such a pleasing colour and texture. The carrots, red potatoes and ginger are further flavoured with lime juice, coconut milk and cilantro (coriander). I know how good this soup is because it is very similar to one I make. I urge you all to give it a go and if you have sweet potatoes, even better as Kirsten suggests.

(Ojai, California, USA)

We are heading off to the Deep South next to visit Astra over at Food for Laughter. For our frugal round-up Astra has come up with a Rice Noodle Salad with Tamarind Sauce. Astra started off her mission by having a look in her cupboard and coming out with a jar of tamarind paste. She hasn't been sure what to do with it, but she had a chef sitting in her living room. Just sitting there, on hand to give her advice and so she came up with this. I too am grateful that Donald was visiting as I too have this same jar of paste languishing in my cupboard with no idea what to do with it. This isn't the most colourful salad in this roundup, but boy does it sound divine. You really have to head over and have a look at the ingredients. It is one amazing dressing, coating noodles and tofu and onions with the crunch of peanuts. Yum!

(The Deep South, USA)

My co-host and close friend Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen is up next and she always knows how to make my mouth water with her dishes. This round she is putting forward for your delight a Wild Rice Chowder with Fresh Coconut and Mushrooms. I think I have died and gone to heaven! Wild rice, bay leaves, green onions, a shallot, jalapeno peppers, turmeric, lobster and chanterelle mushrooms, freshly grated coconut, celery seeds, milk and yoghurt. How's that for an ingredient list?

(london, Ontario, Canada)
not in vote

Our next entry is from a new food blogger called Spice over at Spice Buds. Spice has put together a Lentil Salad for us, which is her husband's favourite lunch dish. Red Chorry lentils, onion, tomato, carrots, salad greens, cucumber, red chillies, cilantro (coriander), raisins and roasted nuts. Sounds tempting doesn't it? I can see why it is hubby's favourite.


We are headed down south, well down south from me anyway and visiting Nic over at Nip it in the Bud. Nic has the most wonderful allotment, but for this challenge she also plundered her fridge and freezer. To make her Green Tomato Soup she cooked the last of her green tomatoes, the most humungus carrot you have ever seen (honestly, you could feed a family four with this!), a single bulb garlic (something I have never come across before), red chilli, coconut milk from the freezer, frozen into portions (great idea Nic!), the last dollop in a tub of creme fraiche and pitta bread from the freezer for dunking. Well, that sounds like one great soup to me, in fact I would love to dip into a bowl of that right now!

(Gloucester, England)

Our last entry comes from Cool Lassi(e) over at Pan Gravy Kadai Curry, another new food blogger, who has made us a Motley Mix Salad and a colourful salad it is indeed, very appetising! Mixed greens, roma tomato, red onion, cucumber, carrot, strawberries, tangerine, corn kernels, and walnuts all dressed in a lovely balsamic dressing. Mmmmmm!


And so we come to the end of another tasty round-up of recipes and I think you will agree, it is going to be hard to choose between such an array of dishes, but choose you must! So please place your vote in the poll or if you have any trouble with that then leave your vote in the comments box.

The winner will be announced on the 31st October 2009 and then it will be onto the next challenge with Lisa over at Lisa's Kitchen at the start of November, Eek! I cannot believe it is so nearly November. Where has the year gone?

Good luck everyone!


  1. Such an incredible round up! I am very much looking forward to cooking my way through these glorious recipes! Thank you for providing us with a true wealth of frugal recipes to nourish us through the winter!

    Thank you, too, for your incredible, thoughtful descriptions of each dish... Your writing is so lovely and elegant - I always look forward to sitting down with a cup of tea and reading your posts!

  2. Thank you Astra, you are very kind :)

  3. Jacequeline...Thanks for the putting together such a wonderful round up.

  4. I am really pleased with the entried this month Sheetal :)

  5. hey..thanks for putting together such a wonderful roundup and such an awesome description to each one of the dishes..

  6. That's ok SE, such wonderful dishes deserve a bit of time and effort when it comes to describing them :)

  7. Wow Jacqueline, what a fantastic round up, with so many new dishes and food blogs to check out. It will be hard to choose one favourite this time.

    I would like to echo what Astra Libris said and say thank you for your thoughtful descriptions for each dish and person. Thank you for hosting and making participating in NCR really enjoyable.

    PS I am actually Welsh, but I don't mind being an honourary Scot now and again :D I think I deserve it I have been living in Scotland for over 10 years now, it is where my home is.

  8. What an array of delicious dishes. It just proves we need to make use of what we have and to not keep our cupboards bare:D

  9. what a fabulous multi-national round up (and a long list of new recipes to try). I'm entering autumnal soup making mode with even greater gusto!
    cheerio, Nic x

  10. What a lovely round up! A very rich array of Frugal Recipes. You have presented it so well Jacqueline.

  11. Oh, I'm bummed I missed this challenge! Wonderful round-up, though! You make them sound even more delicious than they look, as well.

    Thanks (I voted for the pineapple salad, and can only wish I had pineapple leftovers with which to make it!) for providing this for us!

  12. Wow such a prefect roundup...So many delicious salads and soups..

  13. I've been in soup-mode for the last couple of weeks and I must say this is a VERY appealing collection of recipes.

  14. Stupid of me to asume you are Scottish because you live in the west coast of Scotland Mangocheeks, now you become my welsh friend who has the good sense to live in Scotland. He he!

    Hi Val, I don't think we will be stuck with what to do with our leftovers for a while.

    Me too Nic, I am really in soup mode just now. I have a butternut squash just sitting there waiting.

    Thank you Soma :)

    I am pleased you enjoyed the roundup Allie :)

    It is a great line-up of recipes, isn't it Priya :)

    Hi Andrea, I am with you. I don't know which one to try first!

  15. I've been busy bookmarking these fab frugal recipes! Such creativity!

  16. all good, all yummy and it is a great challenge because there are so many good ideas for using up my pantry lingerers rather than rushing out to the shops - and great reading as usual

  17. What a fantastic round-up of some very lovely food. For all those people who say 'I've got nothing in the fridge', they should look again!

  18. Hi Rachel, I don't think we will be stuck for ideas for a while :)

    Hi Johanna, using up what we have already is a good thing for all of us to do and more often I think. I am guilty of not doing it enough.

    How true Spaghetti :)

  19. What a great theme for this month's roundup! I love that people came up with such great looking entries - and so different! I guess not everyone has the same ingredients in their cupboard or garden! :)

  20. What a tasty & beautiful round up this is!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMM,...all the way!!

  21. Now I am craving a big bowl of soup and a salad.

  22. Wow, what a great roundup. Thanks for putting all of these recipes together.

  23. Great inspiration here, will be checking out quite a few of the recipes!

  24. Completely different ingredients from person to person Jenn. I am so glad that so many people joined in.

    It is isn't it Sophie :)

    You have plenty of choice here Pam :)

    That's ok Spice :)

    That's great Nic :)

  25. Hi Jacqueline, Sorry for saying this so late. Great recipes and nicely done round up.Most are total invitations to try.More should be said about how much more appetizing you make them with your nice words:)


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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