Is anyone else old enough to remember that Lipton commercial where the little girl keeps asking her mother: "is it soup yet?" No? Well, Queen Ginger is! The Queen Mum wasn't big on Lipton soup packets- she gave us Campbells, in a can. But that was only for quick lunches. This Queen can't eat any of that stuff now- packaged and canned soups are some of the saltiest foods on the market! Check the labels!
At least once a year in the fall, Momma G made a big pot of homemade Vegetable Beef soup, and froze the the leftovers for later. She wasn't big on Chicken Soup- as a matter of fact, I never remember her making it. Of course, in South Louisiana there was always gumbo. But that's a different blog!
ANYWAY, as this Low Salt Queen moves forward with this reduced sodium lifestyle, she is learning to use her weekends to make large batches of sodium-controlled foods to help her keep as many days healthy as possible. By starting with simple recipes that make large batches, anyone can reduce their overall sodium intake by preparing and packaging their own "make ahead" meals that are healthy, nutritious, and delicious! Notice the use of the phrase "sodium controlled"; even folks without heart disease would be well served to reduce their sodium intake below what a diet of packaged soups, frozen dinners, restaurant meals, and fast food can provide. By preparing foods at home, you are in complete control of the amount of salt and seasonings that go into each dish!
Got a big pot and a freezer? Then you have all the tools you need to make delicious, healthful soups at home? Just pick up some plastic freezer containers at the grocery and you're ready to go!
Tight on freezer space? With readily available home canning jars and their special lids and seals, it is possible to shelf-stable soup recipes at home. Because soups and stocks are low acid foods, safe canning requires the use of a pressure canner, but lets face it, we are stuck with the low-sodium lifestyle for the rest of our lives, so the investment may be reasonable if intend to stick with this!
This intimidating looking contraption is really nothing more than a big, heavy stockpot with a lid that bolts down to allow pressure to build within the unit. Stories you may have heard about the lids blowing off are impossible with modern units- they use metal-to-metal contact rather than a vulnerable rubber gasket, so there's no chance it can get seated improperly. A weighted valve maintains the unit at the right pressure, a dial gauge lets you see what's happening inside, and three rubber relief plugs are designed to eject and release the pressure in case of any mishap. You can get one for about $250 here.
Right now, there are 3 big pots of stock simmering on the Queens burners. Once the stock is ready, she'll show you how she created it, how she'll save it, and what she'll make with it!