Soup is the universal comfort food. Fabled for being able to be made from anything, stretch a meal, fill a belly, and warm a soul. It is the perfect way to use up bits from your fridge, limp vegetables, leftover pasta or rice, cheese ends, and even old ketchup. Search for "leftover food + soup" and you can find hundreds or recipes. A hearty meal can come together quickly, especially when you are using leftovers.
Here are the basics:
- Heat some kind of fat (oil, butter, drippings) in a large pot.
- Add aromatics, such as onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery, or carrots to the pot.
- Stir in broth, stock, or miso.
- Add longer cooking ingredients such as dry pasta, grains, lentils, raw potatoes, or winter squash.
- Add other flavors, such as:
- Add cooked or soft vegetables, tofu, cooked meats, beans, pasta or grains, or other leftovers.
- Chop into bite-sized pieces, if necessary.
- Adding cooked and soft foods at the end prevents them from getting soggy or overcooked.
- Stick to a flavor pallet.
- Check the fridge and freezer for vegetables that need to be used.
- Wilted vegetables are fine, cut off bruises and blemishes.
- Freeze small leftover portions of grains, sauce, vegetables to have on hand.
- Freeze veggie scraps and/or bones in your freezer to make your own stock.
- Make sure to include your carrot cuttings, celery leaves, potato skins and onion peels.
Top with a few croutons, fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon.
Voila! Enjoy a hearty bowl of comfort.
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