When in doubt – make soup!
I have had a very busy week and haven’t had a lot of time to cook. As a result, vegetables have started to accumulate and overwhelm my refrigerator. When this happens, I have two instincts. One is to make a giant stir-fry. The other is to make soup. Soup is like compost for humans. You throw all sorts of things in, heat it up, and the result is very nutritious (and very low waste). That being said, the purpose of this post is not to provide a specific recipe, but instead to demonstrate the versatility of soup. Look at what ingredients you have at home and create a spectacular meal by building from a basic base. In addition, freeze individual portions to use another busy night.
1 small – medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, cut into small rounds (add some celery if you’re in the mood)
3 cups chopped kale (or beet greens or cabbage or carrot tops…whatever!)
1 can white kidney beans, drained
8 cups vegetable stock
2 sprigs rosemary (plucked from the backyard)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbs tomato paste
Salt/pepper/spices to taste
1. Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a large pot and add the garlic. Sauté for 1 -2 minutes and add the tomato paste. Sauté for another 1 – 2 minutes and add the onion.
2. Cook the onions until they begin to soften and turn slightly translucent. 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a boil.
4. Throw in the carrots, kale, beans, and rosemary and reduce heat. Simmer for about 35 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
5. Season with salt and pepper and any additional spices you like. I added a little cayenne pepper for spice.
Note: It is a really good idea to use homemade vegetable stock when making soup. It both tastes better and is an excellent way to make use of vegetable scraps. NoobCook provides some great tips and directions for making homemade vegetable broth that you can see here.