Distributist Home Ec - Distributist Soup

[Co-editor's note: We at The Review are happy to introduce "Distributist Home Ec" - a series of classes for Distributists (Kate made the wonderful suggestion) created by our readers and our contributors at The Review. Why not submit some tips for families on a budget, recipes, home solutions, or any other "how-to" benefiting families as they work towards the Distributist life? Send us your email today.]

Distributist Soup
by Kate

Start with the meat you're already eating and save the bones in a gallon-sized bag in the freezer. (I mix all my bones together—chicken, turkey, pork ribs, T-bones, what have you.) When the bag is full, dump the bones into a large pot, at least six quarts.


One onion, quartered.

Two stalks of celery.

Three or four carrots.

Six to eight cloves of garlic.

A quarter-cup of apple cider vinegar.

Fill the rest of the pot with water. If you're doing this on the stove top, turn the heat on to medium, bring the liquid to a simmer, then turn it down to low. Cover and simmer for at least twelve hours. If you're using a large Crock Pot, just turn it on low for at least twelve hours. Pour the stock out through a colander; discard the bones and vegetables. Store the stock in pint- or quart-sized containers (cottage cheese tubs work well) in the freezer. Use the stock in soups or any recipe calling for broth or stock, or cook rice in it for extra flavor—lots of extra flavor. One good use is as follows:

Instead of buying expensive, packaged soup mixes, buy one bag each of lentils, split peas, and pearled barley. Mix them together and store in an airtight container. For a quick soup, add one cup of this soup mix to five cups of liquid (any combination of stock and water). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

While the above is simmering, chop and sauté in oil or butter (or saved bacon grease—delicious!) one onion, two carrots, and two cloves of garlic. When those are soft, add them to the simmering soup. Season with one tablespoon oregano, one teaspoon rosemary, basil, or herbes de provence, and two tablespoons soy sauce. Taste frequently and adjust seasoning to taste. Simmer until the dry beans and barley are soft. Very tasty with a squeeze of lemon juice or a dollop of sour cream. And delicious with homemade bread. Speaking of which:

Butter two loaf pans. In the microwave, warm two cups of milk and two tablespoons butter. Measure into a mixing bowl one-and-a-half tablespoons rapid-rise (or bread machine) yeast, two tablespoons sugar, and two teaspoons salt. Add the warmed milk and melted butter. Let stand five minutes. Stir in five cups of flour. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead in enough flour to make a non-sticky, springy dough. Shape into a ball. Cover and let rest twenty minutes. Cut in half and shape the halves into loaves; put them in the loaf pans to rise until doubled. To create a warm place to rise, put them in the oven with a bowl of hot water on the rack below them. Bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until done. (I call this “napping bread,” because with the rapid rise yeast I can whip this up and clean up afterwards before the baby wakes up from his nap.)

Note: I found my rapid-rise yeast on sale at a holiday baking display, so now is a good time to look for it. I estimate that the cost of the bread is about a dollar per loaf. I bake two loves at a time and freeze one. I have not estimated the cost of the soup, but I know I save money having the stock on hand for all kinds of recipes, and the soup mix cooks up rather quickly. I pay about a dollar per bag for the dry ingredients, so that three dollars for three pounds of soup mix, instead of the four dollars I used to pay for one pound pre-packaged.


Malcolm Friday, November 28, 2008 at 7:48:00 PM CST  

Um... I'm not really understanding this post. I thought this was a site about Distributism?

Heh, I like food, but this is just kind of an odd post.

John Médaille Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 9:46:00 AM CST  

The question was, "what can we do in a practical sense to advance distributism?" Distributism begins in the kitchen, and especially in the kitchen garden. Fire Campbell's; make your own soup.

Danby Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 1:21:00 AM CST  

Making your own food is the first step in changing your dependence on the Industrial food system.

Viking Monday, December 1, 2008 at 4:33:00 AM CST  

Hi all,

I must say, I'm inclined to agree with Malcolm here. Yes, cooking your own and your family's meals can save money, but only if it's guaranteed that you then use the saved resources to buy productive property can it be said to be distributist. And you could, on the other hand, make the case that going out to eat supports small, local businesses, provided you stay away from chains. Saying distributism begins in the kitchen seems hyperbolic to me, John.

Danby, I don't see the logic in your statement either. The "industrial" food system can be counteracted by raising what garden crops, poultry, livestock, etc, that you can, and going to farmers' markets and butchers and the like for what you can't. But how does going to, say, Safeway, and then cooking that deal any such death blow to the "system"?

Finally, aren't there recipes out there, including on the internet, to make this rather pointless?


Richard Aleman Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:40:00 AM CST  

I don't see it as an either/or situation. This site is certainly big enough to carry a little of everything.

This addition to the site will not only incorporate meals, but urban gardening, making repairs around the home, etc. Not only does this benefit families, but it allows readers to join in and contribute.

Instead of a distraction from the economic science and moral principles of Distributism, this addition will complement it.

We are working on certain changes, including a Distribtuist Review facelift. Once this happens, it will be easier to navigate our site, and one will be able to skip over material they are not interested in.

Kate Monday, December 1, 2008 at 9:09:00 AM CST  

Yes, cooking your own and your family's meals can save money, but only if it's guaranteed that you then use the saved resources to buy productive property can it be said to be distributist.

You have to start saving money somewhere. Home cooking--inexpensive, non-Food-network home cooking--is a good place to begin.

Anonymous,  Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:10:00 AM CST  

Excellent post! I am looking forward to reading more of the Distributist Home Ec series.

Distributism must begin with the people, especially with the most basic unit of society -- the family. What better way to introduce Distributism into the home than by beginning in the kitchen? Likewise, with budgeting, home solutions, and hother how-to's for the home? "Mmm mmm yeah! Possibilities!" :)

Viking Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 11:33:00 PM CST  

Hi all,

Well, OK. I'll have to admit that it still seems a bit silly to me, but if it strikes the rest of you (Malcolm aside) as advisable, who am I to criticize?

Incidentally, a site with some luscious-sounding recipes is mennonitegirlscancook.com. (Believe I have that right.) Might want to check it out sometime.


Viking Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 11:43:00 PM CST  

Hi again,

Oops, I blew it somewhat. The site is actually: http://mennonitegirlscancook.blogspot.com/ . Also see their blog for appetizers, where you just add the word "appetizers" after "cook", being the same otherwise.


Unknown Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM CST  

You might want to fish out the bones during the rendering process and crack them, so the marrow mixes more easily into the stock.


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