The biggest problem for the College Cook (or the recently graduated cook or even for me) is vegetables. They are more expensive than you might think. They are messy to prepare. Frugal Son figured that out after two days in his new apartment. He called, "What is the best way to deal with vegetables?"
I flipped through some of my many cookbooks and came upon a promising soup. It is in a cookbook by Andrew Schloss. I got mine from paperbackswap.com: do not spend $100 on this!
It is a interesting--albeit gimmicky--book. Schloss likes to take things--premade hummus, premade polenta, and the like and make other things out of them. I like metamorphic cooking myself, but I do not have his skill, training, or imagination.
Broccoli-Spinach-Potato Soup with Cheddar (his recipe)
Saute a cup onion and some garlic in some butter. Add 32 oz chicken broth, box frozen broccoli, box frozen spinach. Cook for a bit, puree, and stir in 3/4 cup instant mashed potatoes (!!!! genius!!!). Add some cheddar before serving.
Easily adaptable for the college cook!
Pantry ingredients from the cookbook:
frozen spinach, frozen onion, cheese
What I did: I threw some butter and about 1/2 cup frozen onion in the rice cooker. After a bit, I threw in a few cloves of garlic (I decided not to use broth). I then added two big handfuls each of frozen broccoli and spinach. Water to cover. Cook for a bit. Puree with stick blender.
Then I clicked to warm and stirred in about 1/2 cup of instant mashed potatoes (I only had a flavored kind--with bacon and other things, so I did not use the broth). Then I added cheese.
Notice how adding a few ingredients to the basic 20 we call for in the book really expands the options. In this case, you need to buy soe instant mashed potatoes, frozen broccoli, and garlic. All cheap and easy to store, even in limited space.
I will test this out on Miss Em later. I think it came out well.