$3 Soups and Stews: Delicious, Low-Cost Dishes for Your Family That Everyone Will Love!

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It is not your imagination playing tricks on you if you are in sticker shock in the supermarket check-out lane - food prices are skyrocketing.  And not only is food more expensive than ever, but we all have less time than ever before. The solution to the problem is $3 Soups and Stews. This collection of 250-plus recipes has main course entrees that are less than $3 a serving to prepare. That’s less than the cost of a decent-size burger at a fast-food drive-through. And all can be prepared in less ...

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It is not your imagination playing tricks on you if you are in sticker shock in the supermarket check-out lane - food prices are skyrocketing.  And not only is food more expensive than ever, but we all have less time than ever before. The solution to the problem is $3 Soups and Stews. This collection of 250-plus recipes has main course entrees that are less than $3 a serving to prepare. That’s less than the cost of a decent-size burger at a fast-food drive-through. And all can be prepared in less time than it takes to have a pizza delivered! 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594485865
  • Publisher: Three Forks Press
  • Publication date: 1/6/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Brown, who gained the national limelight in 1982 as the founding food editor of USA Today, is the author of twenty-five cookbooks, including $3 Meals: Feed Your Family Delicious Meals for Less than the Cost of a Gallon of Milk and the five-volume series Great Year-Round Grilling (Lyons).

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Table of Contents

$3 Soups and Stews: More than 250 Delicious, Low-Cost Recipes for Family-Pleasing Meals in the Bowl



Stews and entrée soups are essentially the same dishes; soups have more liquid and require a spoon while stews can be eaten with either a fork or spoon. It makes sense to feature them in the same volume of the $3 Meals series.

These two dish forms are great ways to feed a crowd in very little time and for very little money, and there are more than 250 recipes in this volume that accomplish that task.






The introduction defines the concept underpinning all books in the $3 Meals series; the recipes are for healthful, sophisticated fare made without processed foods. The “Three C’s” of the series are that you can trim costs by eliminating convenience foods that contain chemicals. In addition, the introduction will discuss the food science underpinning the genre of “wet heat food.” There are some basic principles regarding simmering and braising that are highlighted.

Chapter 1: Saving Money at the Supermarket

How to save money when shopping is a thread uniting the books published as part of the $3 Meals series. There are sections of this chapter on shopping tips, how to get the most advantage out of coupons, and other ways to stretch the food budget.


Chapter 2: Soup and Stew Secrets


It takes practically no culinary skills to successfully make a soup or stew. However both take some time, and for both using pieces of food cut to the proper size is important. The principles of how to cut poultry, meats, and vegetables are detailed in this chapter.

Other sections of the chapter include:

·        Converting recipes for the slow cooker.

·        The importance of browning meats prior to cooking.

·        Stove-top and oven preparation methods and the benefits of each.

·        Recipes for basic stocks.

·        A chart with substitutions for different types of beans.


Chapter 3: Small Soups for $1


Each book in the $3 Meals series contains one chapter of dishes that cost less than $1 per serving. While in other books it’s a dessert or snack, in this volume it’s a collection of small soups to serve as appetizers. The recipes are both vegetarian and meat-based.

Examples of Recipes:


            Roasted Garlic Vichyssoise

            Creamy Onion Soup

            Cheddar Soup

            Celery Soup with Tarragon

Chapter 4: Versatile Vegetarian: Soups and Stews without Meats


The soups and stew recipes in this chapter encompass a wide range of both legumes and vegetables. There are thin dishes based on vegetable stock, and then there are many filling and thick recipes using pureed beans and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and winter squash.

Examples of Recipes:

            Southwestern Vegetable Soup

            Cuban Black Bean Soup

            Garbanzo Bean and Kale Stew

            Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Stew

            Zucchini Chili

Chapter 5: Aquatic Adventures: Soups and Stews with Fish and Seafood


While crustaceans like shrimp and lobster are outside the budgetary limits of the $3 Meals series, there are myriad fish and some mollusks that can be used for soups and stews. A major principle to communicate is that the actual fish is added at the end because it cooks so quickly; the preparation time is spent creating the flavorful base in which the fish is gently poached.

Examples of Recipes:

            Mussel Soup with Beans and Garlic

            New England Clam and Corn Chowder

            Seafood Gumbo

            Nantucket Seafood Stew



Chapter 6: Poultry Prowess: Soups and Stews with Chicken and Turkey


The definition of stew for this chapter is expanded to include dishes made with whole pieces of chicken rather than just boneless parts to cut back on both expense and preparation time. The soups and stews will all be different from those appearing in $3 Chicken Meals.

Examples of Recipes:

            Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

            Eastern European Chicken and Cabbage Soup

            Turkey Stew with Sage Cornmeal Dumplings

            Chinese Black Bean Chicken Chili

            Spanish Chicken Stew with Olives and Oranges


Chapter 7: Meaty Matters: Soups and Stews with Beef, Pork, and Lamb


It’s the less expensive cuts of beef, pork, and lamb that create the best soups and stews because they become meltingly tender when slowly simmered – the way soups and stews are created. The introductory materials include a chart of cooking times so that one meat can be substituted for another.

Examples of Recipes:

            Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sausage

            Beef and Barley Soup

            Beef Stew Stroganoff

            Chinese Red-Cooked Pork Stew

            Irish Lamb Stew

Chapter 8: Crusty Creations: Crisp Breads to Serve with Soft Meals

Some sort of crisp bread serves as a textural contrast to the inherently soft nature of soups and stews, but buying flavorful breads at a bakery can markedly increase the cost of a meal; some breads are now $6 to $8 a loaf! The recipes in this chapter are selected to coordinate with the international cuisines represented in the other chapters.

Examples of Recipes:

            Parmesan Foccaccia

            Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

            No-Knead French Baugette

            Quick Olive and Herb Bread

            Jalapeño Cornbread


Appendix A: Metric Conversion Tables

Appendix B: Table of Weights and Measures of Common Ingredients



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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2013

    Yum but ho hum

    The recipes are easy to follow and offer something different for a menu. However, the book could really use photos to make it more appetizing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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