Friday, August 16, 2013

Using Leftovers: My Original Recipe for Bloomin' Onion Soup

Leftovers—rarely as good the second time around—help stretch the food budget. The budget-conscious parent will want to serve the leftovers until they are gone. The kids may pout and put up a fight. So what's a frugal parent to do? One idea is to make those leftovers seem more appealing. You can transform leftovers into something new, something the kids might not even recognize as leftovers! 

I had heard of re-fashioning leftovers into different dishes, but my eyes weren't completely opened until I saw an episode of "Chopped" on the Food Network where the chefs had to incorporate leftovers into their creations. I was both repulsed yet fascinated at the same time! One of those leftovers on that episode was a deep fried onion appetizer, such as Chili's awesome blossom or Outback Steakhouse's bloomin' onion. One chef wowed the judges with the onion soup he made from the soggy leftover onion, and while I don't remember what he did, I was intrigued by the idea. As much as I enjoy a deep-fried onion, I hadn't had one in years. I couldn't stop thinking about that idea of bloomin' onion soup, but how was I going to get my hands on some leftovers?

Then, last week my daughter and I had the opportunity to get a free bloomin' onion with any purchase at a chain restaurant. So we took advantage of that deal, enjoyed our meal, and came home afterwards with about half the onion left. 

This is what I did. It was quick, easy, and turned out delicious. Don't let its appearance deceive you. 


The Soup, minus two servings and sans cheese
Leftover deep-fried onion, chopped into small-ish pieces
Optional: additional fresh chopped onion (if needed for more servings)
Minced garlic, amount determined by quantity of soup (1/2 - 1 tsp)
One can chicken broth (reduced sodium is good)
1/2 cup Coke or water (I like cooking with Coke)
sliced provolone cheese

Place chopped onion into a large microwaveable bowl. Add the chicken broth and other liquid. Feel free to add more if you want a soupier soup. Cover and microwave on medium for ten minutes. Ladle hot soup into bowls and top each bowl with a slice of cheese. Let it sit until the cheese is a bit melted. Will serve about 4, depending on how much onion you brought home and how much liquid you added. 

NOTE: If you like what you found here, check out my latest leftover success: pizza salad made from leftover pizza! Link: Brenda's Pizza Salad

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