Bread Soup

zuppa 005
That vague $0.75 “non-taxable item” at the end of our last receipt was actually a day old whole wheat baguette. It was way past the point of chewability, but given the price we decided to pick it up in order to try out the recipe for Zuppa Arcidossana Mark Bittman recently posted.

Obviously, we left out the sausage, and in place of the spinach we used some arugula left over from last week. Also, ricotta salata didn’t fit into our budget, so we used some cheese that Tina brough back from a work function a while back. Not really sure what kind it was, but it was firm, white, and salty – close enough. Honestly, the baguette was so tough that I didn’t have the patience to cube it as small as the recipe suggests, so you’ll see that our verion looks even chunkier than the one from the times.

Definitely a hearty soup, though defintely best eaten right after cooking, as by the second day the bread starts to degrade a bit too much in the broth.


4 Comments on “Bread Soup”

  1. jen says:

    I have been reading for awhile and really like all of the recipes! However I am tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to only spend 30 bucks a week myself and eat healthy like you do. I have been studying your receipts and meals, and have been wondering just how much food you get as “free” supplements to what you buy. Like the cheese you mention here or meals with family? Not being critical at all, but I am just wondering if I need to set our budget slightly higher because we don’t have access to free food like you do. Thanks for your help.

    • tinaspins says:

      Hey there, understand how the free stuff changes it up a bit. I’m fortunate to work for a place that generally has food based meetings once every week or two (for instance, we just had a load of muffins & bananas at a staff mtg and I will take the extra bananas home). However, the cheese used here was a pretty miniscule amount and the only reason we used it was because it was in the fridge. Are there bits of things you could use up to supplement and spice up a meal? Also, our bill is crazy cheap because of the Coop – we know this and just urge folks who want to bring down their bill to start small.

      If you go back to the very beginning of the blog, you’ll see that we still ate well without any “freebies” or family meals. You just have to get creative and/or live by a place that offers up good deals on fruits and veggies.

      In terms of eating with family and things – well that’s how it goes. Whenever we go up to my mom’s, she wants us to leave with a bag of food. It’s hard not to say no.

      Freebie inspiration: this chick who eats for free all around NYC.

  2. jen says:

    Oh, thanks for clarifying and for the good ideas! Esp. bits of things to use up. I try, but I could be better about this for sure. I think I may have to keep a little ongoing list of food that needs to be used up for inspiration.

    • tinaspins says:

      No problem! We don’t do this because I usually go back to the website to check the receipt, but a good idea is to keep a list on your fridge or pantry with all of the basic items you have around and when to use them by. These handy-printable lists from Apartment Therapy could also be helpful to you.

      If you want to take a REAL measured approach and start from scratch, I would:
      1. Inventory ALL the food stuffs you have. I am talking ALL. If you have stuff in the freezer that you can’t identify at all or has freezer burn, throw it out. Ditto for stuff in the fridge.
      2. What do you use the most (1)? The least (2)? Never (3)? Mark it down
      3. Immediately try to use up the nevers (3’s). Let’s say it’s a spice, google it and see if you can make something interesting with it. Use up what you never use and get it out of the way, so you can clear up space and buy the things you need. If it’s a spice you bought to make a cookie or a particular dish once, make those things again!
      4. Use up the 2’s and try to see if you can buy the 1’s in bulk. Your ones might be flour, eggs, pasta, beans, etc. See if you can get them in bulk to cut the costs down.
      5. Once you see exactly what you have, you will (probably) be amazed. I know I was the first time I sat down and inventoried our pantry. Then utilize any cookbooks you have, favorite websites and google to seek out interesting and new recipes. I really think you’ll find a lot to do without doing a lot of grocery shopping.

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