Simply Frugal Living – The Joy of Leftovers Soup

Over the last few years, we’ve had to become experts at simply frugal living. A financially incontinent ex-husband and a global financial crisis took their toll on my disposable income, so a lot of belt-tightening was called for. Frugal living is now a habit that’s deeply ingrained, but it’s one which enables the reluctant teen and I to have a great life and to travel!

My mum and my gran were brilliant at making ‘something from nothing’ from the fridge, and I leaned heavily on their tips when my finances were at their tightest. My granny’s mantra was ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’.

Granny’s 5 tops tips that I live with are:

  • Always shop from a list and if it’s not on the list, it’s not in the trolley
  • Never throw food away
  • Eat an (almost) vegan diet
  • Cook everything from scratch
  • Grow your own herbs, veggies and flowers

Leftover Veggies Soup – Comfort Food Simply Frugal Living Style

Leftover veggies are some of my favourite things; there’s almost always some in my fridge. I add them to casseroles, pies and pasta dishes. I’ve even managed to sneak leftover sprouts into a turkey pie and have the reluctant teen declare it delicious.

Here I had some leftover sweetcorn, carrots and roasted courgettes, which were far too tasty to throw out.

simly frugal living - making leftover veggies soup

They don’t look like much here, but there’s plenty to make a filling soup for two hungry people. All I needed was a chopped onion, a veggie stock cube, some oregano, tomato paste plus chili flakes and seasoning.

simply frugal living - making soup

The best thing about cooking with leftovers is that there’s no need for a recipe. It’s all about being creative, experimenting with flavours and using up all the good things left in the fridge. Anything goes as it’s hard to go wrong with veggies.

Here’s how I made our leftover soup today:

  • Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan, add the onions and fry until soft and just starting to take on some colour (Be careful not to let the onions catch and burn)
  • Pour in a good ‘glug’ of water and 1 vegetable stock cube and bring to the boil
  • Add in all the veggies, a shake of oregano and chili flakes, then the heat right down.
  • Cover and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and blend to the desired consistency with a hand blender
  • Squeeze in a dollop of tomato paste and stir well
  • Season to taste and serve.

simply frugal living - making soup


This is such a quick easy dish to make and it costs peanuts, so it really ticks all my simply frugal living buttons! We’re heading off for a day of kayaking so I’ve poured the hot soup into a food flask for us to enjoy when we are finished on the river. I know the teen will demolish it all…

Here’s the food flask we use – I’ve tested a few and this one is definitely the best. It comes with a handy fold up spoon, it keeps food piping hot for hours and (most important) it doesn’t leak!

You can get one just like this here

UPDATE: The soup was a roaring success after the kayaking. One very hungry, cold boy polished it all off.

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