Crowd-Pleasing, Pantry-Cleaning Chowder

OK, let me start off by saying that this is one of my absolute FAVORITE meals. It's easy on the stomach and taste buds, waistline, and wallet!

There are as many varieties to this soup as there are ingredients, so feel free to be creative and make it your own! Tonight I had few ingredients and more than just me to feed, so I pulled out these random ingredients from my pantry:

1 can chunky chicken soup
2 cans chicken stock
1/2 a red pepper
1 can of corn
4 small baked potatoes that I had frozen
1 small bag Uncle Ben's quick brown rice
1 packet of instant mashed potatoes (bacon and Swiss flavored)

I chopped the pepper and sauteed it in a bit of olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. I poured the soup, stock, and drained corn into a pot on medium heat. I thawed and chopped the potatoes and added those, then the packet of mashed potato mix. I let it get to just about boiling, then added the peppers. I then made the rice (90 seconds in the microwave)and added that. I let it stew for about 5 minutes to get thick. Add spices to taste (I like garlic powder, paprika, pepper, salt, and onion powder). All together it couldn't have taken more than 15 minutes to make, and I had used random items in my pantry and fridge! I served the soup with biscuits, and it was a hit!

I got all these items at Aldi, which made them super cheap. You could vary the mashed potato flavor, add white beans, add more veggies and chicken, or whatever... it's pretty hard to mess this soup up. And if you need to feed a lot, just add more stock and mashed potatoes-- the beauty of this is you can watch it take shape and can tell what it needs.

Quick , easy, delicious, cheap, and HEALTHY! Can't beat that. Use whatever is in your pantry and store leftover soup in the freezer. It keeps well and heats up perfectly for later lunches and dinners. Give it a try!

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