Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Perpetual soup: The next generation

Way back when I was a newspaper feature writer, before all these kids came along, I did a story on perpetual soup. This was before our plunge into frugal living, I was just intrigued by the concept. (Running a photo with that article probably wasn’t the best idea, in retrospect. The soup, which absorbed everything in our fridge that previously would have been tossed out, wound up looking like a brown gruel.)

That batch of soup lasted us a few weeks, then faded from our lives. I wasn’t cooking much then, and I was never tempted to start it up again when the kids were little. They wouldn’t even eat Campbell’s soup; I can only imagine what they would have had to say about mommy‘s gruel.

Now, thanks to my weight-loss regimen, I’m once again tending a batch of perpetual soup, with about one-tenth the calories of the original model. Based on a Weight Watchers recipe, it consists of bullion broth, chopped tomatoes (though I use salsa for extra zing) and veggies like cabbage, carrots, green beans and zucchini -- basically anything that doesn’t surpass the calorie count of your average finger-nail clipping.

This less polluted soup both looks and tastes better than its predecessor. I think it’s going to have a much longer life span, especially since Ben, now 12, loves it.

Weight Watchers cost-analysis update: I’m approaching an embarrassment threshold here, both in terms of money spent (not quite $70) and weight lost, because I wish I could report that 19.2 pounds was all I needed to lose. But I’ve still got a ways to go, unfortunately.

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