Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Refrigerator Soup

I don't have a picture of the soup I made for dinner last night, but I was so proud of my accomplishment that I wanted to share! Not because it was the most absolutely breathtakingly delicious soup ever(it was good, though) but because it was made almost entirely with leftovers that I had in my refrigerator and freezer.

Here's what I had on hand:

  • leftover meatballs
  • about a quarter of a jar of spaghetti sauce
  • small bowl of mac & cheese with peas
  • half of an onion
  • about a quarter of a bag of frozen peas and carrots
  • a freezer container full of leftover veggie broth-about 4 cups (each time I steam veggies, I carefully save the broth in a freezer container. I just keep adding to it until it's full. It makes a wonderfully flavored broth. I laughed as a new bride and my mom suggested this. Sorry, Mom! Now I'm starting to learn.:-))
Here's what I added:
  • 28-oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • about a 1/2 cup of mixed dried split peas and lentils
  • garlic
  • spices-oregano, basil and thyme
  • water to thin to a good soup consistency
To make the soup, I got out my soup pot and started pouring the broth items in-veggie broth, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, chopped onion, garlic. I turned the burner on high to start to bring it to boil. Some of my ingredients were still frozen, so this helped to thaw them out. When the broth was heated through, I went ahead and added the frozen vegetables and dried legumes. I let it come to boil and then I turned it down to simmer and put the lid on the pot. I let it cook for about an hour, stirring every so often.

When the dried peas were soft and pretty much ready, I added the meatballs and leftover cooked pasta, plus a little water so it wasn't so thick. I also added the spices at this time.I continued to simmer the soup until it was all heated through and we were ready to eat!

I sprinkled each serving with the last shreds of mozzarella cheese from the bottom of the bag and served the steaming bowls of soup with homemade wheat bread.

I don't know what was better-the delicious soup or knowing that this soup was almost "free" because I used up all sorts of leftovers that some people would have just thrown out!

You can do this too. Just gather items you have on hand-some kind of cooked meat, cooked pasta, rice or potatoes, assorted veggies, spices and ingredients for whatever kind of broth you want. This takes some trial and error-some will turn out better than others, but don't despair. You can do this!

So look in your refrigerator today: You just might have everything you need for a yummy one-of-a-kind soup!


thehomespunheart said...

Good for you! Excellent job of using your resources! :)

Terri said...

Wonderful, Mary Ann! That's my kind of soup!