Taking a cue from frugal cooks everywhere, F&W’s Melissa Rubel ekes out enormous flavor from very few ingredients—even scraps like corn cobs.

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Recipes:

Chicken Meatball–and–Orzo Soup

Chicken Meatball�??and�??Orzo Soup

Melissa Rubel cleverly uses chicken sausage here: removing the casings, shaping the meat into balls, browning them and simmering them in chicken broth.

Black Bean Soup with Crispy Tortillas

Black Bean Soup with Crispy Tortillas
Credit: © Yunhee Kim

This ultrasimple soup requires little more than a couple of cans of black beans, some onion and a bit of cumin.

Cabbage, Kielbasa and Rice Soup

Cabbage, Kielbasa and Rice Soup
Credit: © Yunhee Kim

Good sausage is an excellent time-saver, because the links are already spiced and seasoned.

Chickpeas and Swiss Chard in Parmesan-and-Sun-Dried-Tomato Broth

Chickpeas and Swiss Chard in Parmesan and Sun-Dried-Tomato Broth

Top-quality jarred pesto is the key to this soup, contributing a lovely, herby nuttiness. Simmering the soup with a Parmigiano-Reggiano rind adds even more flavor complexity.

Smoky Ham-and-Corn Chowder

Smoky Ham-and-Corn Chowder
Credit: © Yunhee Kim

Simmering the scraps (the ham rind and corn cobs) in water makes a quick, tasty stock.