I grew up on a farm with the closest supermarket a 40 minute drive away. As you can imagine, it was a matter of survival that my Mum kept her huge walk-in pantry well stocked.
So I’ve always understood just how helpful a good pantry can be.
These days, even though I’ve lived in cities for ages, I still keep my pantry at the ready for emergencies. Like when I get caught up with work stuff and need to get a healthy dinner on the table pronto! Or when we’ve been away and I don’t feel like fighting my way through traffic and check-outs.
I do love my pantry. It’s a bit nerdy but I must admit, I feel a little bit of domestic pride every time I look inside my pantry at the rows of jars and things.
How about you?
If you feel like you’re NOT making the most of your pantry, here are 3 steps to help you use your pantry as more of the wonderful support system it can be. Plus a little collection of some of my favourite Stonesoup pantry-based recipes.
3 steps for getting more out of your pantry
1. Collect a selection of great pantry-based recipes.
This is the key to getting the most out of your pantry. I’ve included a list below to get you started.
Don’t feel limited to just the dry goods or store cupboard. I consider any ingredient that will keep for more than a few months as a ‘pantry’ ingredient. So I include things like parmesan, tofu and halloumi which all keep in the fridge. Or frozen vegetables.
Go shopping for the ingredients for 2-3 (or more) of your favourite recipes from your collection above. The thing with pantries is they only help you if they contain ingredients that can go together to make a meal.
Next time you need a quick, emergency meal, instead of resorting to pizza, just head home and have some fun whipping up one of your delicious pantry dinners.
It’s that simple.
6 favourite Stonesoup pantry recipes
pea & pesto soup
Frozen peas are seriously one of the best pantry (or freezer) ingredients. I love that they don’t require any prep and can actually taste better than fresh peas.
This is a great ‘pantry’ recipe to have up your sleeve. It’s perfect for nights when you need dinner to be on the table in 10 minutes or less.
500g (1lb) frozen peas
2-4 tablespoons pesto
1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to the boil in a medium pot.
2. Add peas and cook for 5 minutes, or until the peas are hot and tender.
3. Puree with a stick blender. Stir in a little pesto, taste and add more if desired. Season.
vegan / dairy-free – either replace the pesto with a large handful of torn basil leaves or use a vegan pesto like this Sicilian nut pesto.
no pesto? – the peas on their own make a really lovely pure soup. Or add in a few handfuls of grated parmesan.
pesto-lovers – if you are using good quality home made pesto, you might like to serve with a big dollop of pesto on top.
richer – add in a few tablespoon of butter when pureeing the soup.
video version of the recipe