Cheap chicken soup
Take the chicken carcass that, thrifty person that you are, you saved in the freezer or refrigerator when you last roasted a chicken. Add the raw chicken neck you saved aside when you were roasting the chicken. Put it in a big stock pot with the vegetable trimmings you've been saving. If you don't have enough vegetable trimmings, or to increase flavor, add a chopped onion, three or four good-sized chopped stalks of celery, and three or four chopped carrots to the stock pot. Cover the ingredients with water, and let simmer, mostly covered, for several hours (do not boil). Strain the ingredients from the stock liquid. Put the stock liquid back into the stock pot, and continue simmering. Pick the chicken carcass clean. Throw out the bones and any vegetable trimmings you don't want to eat, save the vegetables you do want to eat and the meat, and put the meat and vegetables back into the pot. Add your choice of: * noodles * lentils * rice * home-made dumplings Add some more vegetables if you like. Green beans work wonderfully here. Add seasoning to taste. Here's what's in mine right now: Salt Pepper Dry mustard Herbes de Provence Basil Thyme Curry powder A bit of cayenne pepper A couple of bay leaves Simmer at least another hour. Enjoy. Makes a hearty meal for at least four. Cost: If you added vegetables when starting the stock, and/or later on, maybe a couple dollars for that, at most. About $1 to $2 for noodles or lentils; dumplings and rice will be considerably less. Everything else is stuff you already had as leftovers or in kitchen supplies (seasonings).