Forgive me if I’ve told this story before. When I was first married, a woman in my church told me how to save money by making leftover soup. She told me to keep a container in my freezer and whenever there was leftover food — the odds and ends of vegetables, meat, pastas, even dips and salad dressings — add them to the container. When the container seemed full enough to make soup, I was to put the contents in a slow cooker, add broth or water and seasonings, and let cook all day. Voila! Practically free soup that would be unique each time.

I attempted this two times and the results were unappetizing. Very unappetizing. The first time, we ate some of the soup both secretly thinking it must have just been me since I had no clue how to cook way back when. The second time, both of us spoke up. It was just a bad idea. Throwing anything and everything into a pot and expecting a yummy soup to emerge was ridiculous.

Still, leftover soup is a good idea if you chose the leftovers carefully. It’s an easy way to save money and lessen food waste. Howcast has a video that shows you how to make a quick soup from the leftovers in your refrigerator. Just use your common sense when choosing ingredients.

I found the tip in the video about easily skimming the fat from soup by using ice cubes or lettuce leaves interesting. I’d never head it before. The video shows you how.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

How to make soup from leftovers
Take the odds and ends in your refrigerator and create a hearty soup.