General ramblings

Waste not, want not-recipe ideas #2

January 26, 2013
lazy soup1

The 2nd in my little series of stop food waste posts, (original post here, and omlettes and frittatas here), and this time it is the classic that is ….

Fridge Soup

lazy soup1

I am sure you are all well versed in the loveliness of fridge soup, indeed many (ok, one, at the moment) lovely readers, have commented that it is there favourite using up food recipe.

The premise is simple:

  • Open fridge door at end of week, before next shopping trip
  • Peruse contents
  • Decide that most of the veg is now past it’s best, and you are lacking in inspiration for anything to make
  • Roughly chop veg (if you have an onion too, this always helps)
  • Saute (posh word for frying, but sounds less like it will adversely your cholesterol) in oil/butter until starting to soften
  • Add about 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock (powdered is fine-I know we should all be making our own delicious stocks and freezing them, but we all have to prioritise, and I’m afraid homemade stock comes lower down on my list..)
  • Simmer gently until the veg is all soft and cooked
  • Whiz to within an inch of it’s life with a stick blender. Or whiz half and leave half chunky for a more ‘rustic’ feel
  • Add anything else you fancy-tinned pulses, cream, mascarpone, anything else that needs using up
  • This can then be eaten (obviously) or portioned up and frozen for a no-hassle lunch at a later date (do remember to label it though, I once heated up some mango ice-cream….)

Some tips:

  • Onion seems to form the basis of most soup recipes. Roughly chop and fry gently first for 5 minutes, before adding the rest of your veg
  • Adding a potato or two makes a nice thick, velvety consistency
  • Some veg may have overpowering flavours that may not necessarily go with everything else-I have ever tried fennel soup for instance, but I am quite open to it if someone tells me it is delicious
  • Adding some herbs is always nice-I sure I remember reading somewhere that you should add dried herbs at the beginning if using, and fresh herbs towards the end. No idea if this is true, but it seems to work for us!

If you don’t fancy the eclectic mix approach, here are some of our favourites:

  • Roasted pepper-always a winner-rougly chop peppers, and an onion into quite big wedges. Drizzle with oil, and season. Then roast in the oven at 200C for about 30-40 mins until charred. Give it the odd shake every now and then. Add to a saucepan with a litre of stock and simmer for 10mins. Then whiz, and add a dash of something creamy if you fancy. Or some fresh basil.
  • Leek and potato-a classic. Fry a roughly chopped onion in some butter. Add some sliced leeks-Leith’s say very strictly only to use the white bit, but I think this is just so you get the creamy colour. It seems a waste to throw away the whole green bit, and I don’t mind a bit of greeny tinge to my soup (?!) so I have to confess to slicing some of the green bit too) Peel and chop some potatoes, add to the mix. Turn down the heat, add a lid and allow to cook gently for 10-20mins. Add the stock, simmer until soft, then whiz.
  • Roasted veg-I’m sure you may have noticed by now, I love roasted veg. I will roast practically anything. Roughly chop and onion, and whatever veg you have-peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, leeks, sweet potatoes, the sad limp last bit of celery. I have roasted broccoli and cauliflower before, but they do tend to char quite a bit, and might make your soup taste a bit bitter. Roast in the oven at 200C ish, for 30-40mins (potatoes etc tend to need a bit longer, and things like courgettes roast quite quickly). Add to a saucepan with a litre of stock, and simmer for 20mins then whiz.
  • Carrot and orange. Roughly chopped onion as before. Then add roughly chopped carrots, and a potato or two (I have also added the odd parsnip when I’ve not had enough carrots) and the zest of an orange. Add stock. Simmer, and blitz. Stir in the juice from the zested orange at the end.
  • Curried parsnip-Roughly chopped onion, then parsnips (peeled and roughly chopped) then curry powder to taste. Add stock. Simmer and whiz.

Hands up who makes fridge soup?!

And what are your favourite made-up concoctions?