Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup

When I have a bunch of leftovers and remnants of produce I make soup.  Or should I say I "wing" soup?  I think I've followed a recipe for soup maybe five times in my life.  Soup is such an easy and versatile dish that you can make it with any combination of ingredients.  That is what I love about soup.  Pair it with a salad and some crusty bread and you're suddenly a domestic goddess, serving up homemade comfort food to your family while not letting things go to waste in the refrigerator.

I always get a slight sick feeling in my stomach whenever I have to throw out spoiled or over-ripe food; scolding myself for not having used it in time.  This feeling is intensified when it's the local, organic, I-met-the-farmer-who-grew-it-with-his-hard-work produce.  So, I do everything I can to keep this precious bounty from the earth and our hard-earned money from going to waste.  Enter Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup.

I feel the need to make soup every time I have leftover odds and ends in the refrigerator.  You know, enough to know you need to use it but not enough to make a complete dish or even side dish.  For this soup, I had a quarter head of green cabbage, a few leaves of kale, half a head of broccoli, and a chicken breast.  Each of these items had to be cooked within that day or the next or they would spoil, so, soup it is!  Luckily I already had some homemade chicken stock. I threw in a can of fire roasted tomatoes for good measure, and *poof* dinner is made and nothing was wasted. 

To turn anything into a soup, I follow a basic series of steps:

-saute onions and garlic in oil/butter
-add meat if it's uncooked
-add vegetables and cook for a few minutes
-add meat if it's cooked
-add spices (usually salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme)
-add stock

This formula has really served me well over the years and my family can attest to strange soups which have funny ingredients in them but somehow turn out great.  I like that it has kept food from going to waste. 

What things do you do to maximize everything in your refrigerator and pantry?


  1. I make a LOT of soups too! Even through the hot weather we deal with here in the summer, we still have soups frequently. I make a lot of stir-fry meals as well. Those work great for using up random ingredients as well. :)


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