Shakespeare once said, "Brevity is the soul of wit" and although he was talking about words, we think the thought applies nicely to food. "Less is more" is sometimes a difficult concept to grasp (especially if you're an American), but it can be the missing ingredient in your cooking.
Take soup for example. It's a great base and starting point for many flavors and although it lends itself nicely to cleaning out your fridge and getting rid of all those "must go" ingredients, it can sometimes become a hot mess (literally).
In my own home, soup wasn't really a thin, broth-y creation. My family was more of thicker and stew like folk. All of them delicious in their own right, but soup time was always a way to show off the "make something out of nothing" badge of honor that we all wear. It's what makes a cook a cook and the rest call for takeout — but something I wasn't able to learn until I was older is that it doesn't always have to be so complex. My parents were amazing at making something out of nothing and although sometimes it feels as though everything should go in a dish for that purpose, it can be just as tasty, if not more so, to restrain and make fewer ingredients shine through.
Cooking with less ingredients encourages the buying of better ingredients in the first place and will generally make you more satisfied with your meal. Letting those few ingredients which were created, chosen or picked with love and care, sing from your knife or spoon will in the end, create a more pleasurable experience and create a better relationship with food.
For more, make sure to check out the splendid write up by Sara-Kate last year on Cooking Better With Less!
So, the moral of the story is: While we love the frugal satisfaction of cleaning out the last scrap of cheese or veggies from the fridge and making something delicious out of it, we also celebrate restraint and the ability to do more with less.
• Related: Ten Ways to Feed Ten People for Less Than $20
(Image: Wikipedia & Wardrobe Costumes)