These Recipes have been copied with permission from the Better Times Almanac of Useful Information, 5th Edition       Bob Waldrop, founder The Oscar Romero Catholic Worker-Oklahoma City-

Soups are a staple in the diet of everyone who wants good food that doesn't cost much money. Making your own soups saves money. Most leftover soups can be used in casseroles. Instead of a can of cream of mushroom soup, substitute 1-1/2 to 2 cups of your favorite leftover creamed soup. This is a real money saving tip, as canned cream soups -- while great for taste, nutrition and convenience -- add to the cost of a casserole. Make soup every week, and hide some of it in the casseroles. Your family will truly thank you.

Split Pea Soup

2 cups split peas | ham bones or bacon ends and pieces | 8 cups hot water | garlic, onion, celery, salt, pepper

Combine all ingredients and bring to boiling point. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for at least 2 hours. The longer and slower it cooks, the better it is (add water if necessary, don't let it scorch.)

Cream of Vegetable Soup

1 C cooked vegetables | 4 cups milk | chopped onion | 2 tbsp butter | 2-3 tbsp flour | salt and pepper

Sauté onions in butter, stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add mashed cooked vegetables, cook one minute, slowly add four cups milk, cook until hot throughout (don't boil). Variations: Creamed Corn Soup, use two cans creamed corn in place of mashed vegetables. Cream of Tomato Soup, add 2 cups tomato juice in place of mashed vegetables, and add 2 tsp of sugar, reduce milk to two cups.

Cream of Mushroom Soup to Use in Casseroles

1 cup chopped mushrooms | 2 cups stock | 2 cups milk | chopped onion | 2 tbsp butter | 2-3 tbsp flour

Sauté onion and mushrooms in butter, add flour, cook until bubbly. Add broth and milk, heat until hot throughout, use in casserole instead of canned soup.

Best-Ever Potato Soup

2 stalks chopped celery | 1 tbsp melted butter | 2 carrots, sliced | 2 cups milk | 1 medium onion, chopped |
4 medium potatoes, cubed | 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Sauté celery and onions in butter until tender. Add carrots, potatoes, and stock, cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, mash vegetables with potato masher, add milk and re-heat until ready to serve. Variations: (1) when you add the water, season with ˝ tsp thyme, some garlic, ˝ tsp rosemary, 3/4 tsp seasoned salt, add 1 cup grated cheese when milk is added. (2) Add 1/4 cup ketchup and ˝ cup peanut butter when milk is added, stir and heat over low heat until it is all well mixed.

Cheese Soup

2 tbsp. chopped onion | 2 tbsp butter | 2 tbsp flour | 2-3 cups milk | 1/2 cup cooked carrot, minced |
1/2 cup cooked celery, minced | 1 cup shredded cheese.

Sauté onion in butter, add flour and milk to make a thin white sauce. Add salt, pepper, carrots, celery and cheese, mix well and heat until steaming.

Cabbage Patch Soup

1/2 lb hamburger | 2 large onions | 1 large can tomatoes | 4 cubed potatoes | garlic powder | 1 head of cabbage |
6 carrots | 1 can tomato juice | salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder

Lightly brown hamburger, cover with or beef stock. Add chopped cabbage, sliced carrots, onions, tomatoes (and liquid, if using canned or stewed) and juice, simmer one hour. Add potatoes and seasonings. Continue cooking until potatoes are tender.

Vegetable Soup

1 small head cabbage, shredded | 1 onion, chopped | tomatoes | 4 potatoes, cut in cubes | 1 green pepper, chopped |
2 tbsp butter | Thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano

Put in kettle with 3 cups boiling water or stock. Add salt and pepper to taste, cook until potatoes are done.

Lentil Soup

2 cups dry lentils | 1 quart water or stock | 2 quarts Brown Soup Stock (or other soup stock, broth, or bouillon) |
1 diced potato | 1/8 tsp ground cloves | parmesan cheese | salt to taste | 1 tbsp. white vinegar.

Soak the lentils in one quart water for two hours. Place with water in soup pot with stock, potatoes, carrots, vinegar, salt, and cloves. Cook over low heat for three hours. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese in bowl before serving Alternative seasoning: eliminate cloves and vinegar, add rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, sage, a bay leaf, and crushed red pepper.

French Onion Soup

6 large onions, sliced very thin | 4 tbsp butter | 8 cups beef stock | 1 cup white wine |
2 tsp flour | 1 sprig each of parsley and thyme } 1 bay leaf

Cook onions in butter on low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and ˝ teaspoon sugar of salt, continue cooking until onions caramelize (turn a rich dark brown) BUT don't let them burn, the onion cooking may take 30 minutes. Add 2 tsp flour to onions and butter, and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes. Add 1 cup white wine or 1 cup of stock, let thicken, add the rest of the stock and herbs and simmer for ˝ hour. Remove herbs after cooking. Cut some bread into two inch squares (French bread is good for this) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Brown the toast in the oven. Put a square of toast in each soup bowl. Reheat soup and pour in bowls. Add a teaspoon of parmesan cheese on top of each bowl.