Using Canned Soup as Starters for Meals

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Everyone has those moments when dinner needs to be cooked, but it’s been a busy day and any ounce of culinary imagination is gone.   On nights like those, it’s nice to be able to go into the pantry and whip something up, like these enchiladas.

It’s good to stock up on a variety of canned soups when they’re on sale because they can be used for more than just a one-person meal.  With the addition of various ingredients (leftovers are great!), one can of soup can feed a family of four instead of just one person.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

*Use French Onion Soup or Tomato Soup as a starter for chili. 

The French Onion Soup will give the chili a more soupy type consistency, instead of a thick tomato base.  This type of chili base is better for people with heartburn because there are fewer tomatoes to cause acid reflux.  Tomato soup will give the chili a sweeter tomato flavor for people who like their chili sweeter.

*Use Cheesy Cream Soups for Potato Casseroles

If there are leftover baked potatoes in the fridge, put a Cheesy Creamy Potato Soup to work!  Slice the baked potatoes and cover the bottom of a casserole dish.  Layer with any leftover meats you have.  Sausage or Ham would be delicious.  Mix the Cream of Potato soup with sour cream or plain yogurt and garlic and onion powders.  Pour soup mixture over potatoes and cook at 350 for 30 minutes.  If your potatoes aren’t already cooked the time and temperature would need to be adjusted.

*Use Vegetable Beef soup as a starter for a larger pot of Vegetable Beef Soup

Start with a can of vegetable beef soup and add any left-over vegetables that are in the fridge.  This is a great way to get rid of leftovers that might otherwise be forgotten.  Add 2 cups of broth or water with beef bouillon cubes to add more beef flavor.  Other great additions would be cooked noodles or rice, spinach, frozen corn or green beans or canned beans.  The good thing is that the flavor of meat will come from the Vegetable Beef soup, but it can be a very vegetable-heavy meal.

*Use Southwest Style Black Bean and Vegetable Soup to make Enchiladas

Drain the soup and save the broth for the top of enchiladas.  Mix beans and veggies from the soup with cooked rice and spoon into tortillas.  Roll the tortillas and place in greased pan seam side down.  Mix saved broth from soup with one 6 oz. can of tomato sauce and 1 Tbsp. of taco seasoning.  More taco seasoning can be used if a saltier or spicier sauce is preferred.    Pour over stuffed tortillas and top with shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

With canned soups, the possibilities are endless.  Enjoy!

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