Did you ever go to your refrigerator to look for something you positively knew was in there only to find 23 things you forgot you had and never finding what you were looking for until you moved that plastic container shoved wa-a-a-y in the back? You know, that “science experiment” about growing mold?
Well, I did just that yesterday. Among the 23 things I had forgotten were 2 shrivelly carrots, a partial bag of spinach, half of a red onion, a lonely, slightly slimy leek, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary, some leftover corn, part of a yellow bell pepper, a few slices of Genoa salami, about a cup of chicken broth, and some grated parmesan. Before long, I had a plan. “Soup,” I said!
Obviously, that frig was out of control and I made a solemn promise to clean it out…later.
But I had a more immediate task. I got out a medium-sized, heavy saucepan, drizzled in some olive oil, and got to work. The slime on the leek was confined to the green ends which I wasn’t going to use anyway. I halved the white part lengthwise and rinsed it well under running water. Then I sliced it and put it aside. I chopped the red onion, the bell pepper, and peeled and chopped the poor limp carrots.
All those little foundlings I threw into the pot with the hot oil. I stirred it and let it cook a while to start tenderizing the veggies. In the meantime, I opened a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of cannellini, which I drained and rinsed (the beans, not the tomatoes). When the veggies were slightly tender, 3 cloves of garlic, minced, were thrown in. I stripped the leaves off a sprig of thyme and the leaves from the rosemary sprig, chopped them roughly and added them. Then I added the broth, the tomatoes, some salt and pepper, and the salami, cut up into tiny bits. It looked a bit skimpy so I added another 14 oz. can of chicken broth. I brought this concoction to a boil and then lowered the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. Finally, I dumped in the beans, corn and the baby spinach, coarsely chopped, and put the whole thing in the crockpot on low.
It was only 10:00 in the morning and we were still full from our weekend bacon and egg breakfast. I knew we had errands to run and wouldn’t want to spend much time fixing lunch later. The crockpot was the answer. I could keep the soup warm and ready for a few hours with no problem.
Later, after we had picked out and bought our Christmas tree, we were ready for lunch. I sliced up some fresh “No Knead” bread, ladled out the soup, and sprinkled some parmesan over it. Boy! Was it delicious! I enjoyed it again today for lunch. No recipe, just plain old soup.
Try it yourself. I bet you can find some leftovers to throw into a soup pot and make a tasty meal. Chicken, torn up cooked hamburger, shredded roast beef or pork, cut up ham, cabbage, green beans, peas, pasta, rice – you name it. Add some broth, or just water and a bouillon cube if that’s all you have on hand (hold the salt until you taste it), or tomato juice. You probably know instinctively what combinations you would enjoy. Make the most of your food dollar and use those little bits of leftovers.
Now, I must tackle the frig and see what else I can salvage.