General ramblings

Waste not, want not-recipe ideas #2

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?

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  • Reply Carol in CT January 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Yes, love this type of thing. I’d add that I keep all cooking fats and use this to saute vegetables, eggs etc. A bit of bacon fat, for example, add such depth to a soup, especially one that will be meat free. It also is a means to save my butter/vegetable oil/EVOO for another time. A gingered carrot-parsnip soup, made with poultry stock and topped with croutons (got old bread?) is simply lovely!

    • Reply Jen January 30, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      What a great idea Carol!

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  • Reply Aurora January 29, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Yep fridge soup lover here, it is my staple “take to work” lunch for half the working week!

    • Reply Jen January 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      What a great lunch to look forwards to in this weather! And nothing to do in the morning before work either 🙂

  • Reply Jano January 27, 2013 at 10:08 am

    celeriac, potatoe, onion, chicken stock and a bit of cream left at the bottom of the carton, a turn of pepper, not much salt as celeriac seems salty, may be a little drop of milk. yummy! Fridge soup is great!

    • Reply Jen January 28, 2013 at 8:44 am

      Hubby is a big celeriac fan-might have to give this one a go-thankyou!!

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo January 27, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I LOVE fridge soup! Will be making somne today and its looking like Swede and Leek at the moment :O)

    • Reply Jen January 28, 2013 at 8:44 am


  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) January 27, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Made a hotpot on friday with all the leftover veg in the fridge & some cheap chicken thighs (half price on due date) BUT 2 PARSNIPS … slightly overpowered it even tho enough for 6 portions (most back in freezer) maybe leave the parsnips out next time !!!

    • Reply Jen January 28, 2013 at 8:45 am

      Still sounds pretty yummy. Can you fish some of the parnsip out…??!!

  • Reply Heather January 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Oooh I love soup. Beetroot and horseradish sounds awesome. Celeriac is a favourite here, as is butternut squash with assorted roasted veg. Also parsnip and potato, a bit currified with the addition of cumin. Yum.

    • Reply Jen January 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      They all sound delicious Heather!!

  • Reply For Bella and Will January 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Hehe, we have ‘fridge soup’ too 🙂 I make Mysterone Soup – similar to minestrone but it’s a mystery what’s in it 😉 yum!

  • Reply CookaholicKate January 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    They all sound yummy , I bought a big bunch of coriander at my local market today that was just screaming for a carrot and coriander soup…the usual,onions,carrots stock then blitz coriander in at the end to taste

    • Reply Jen January 26, 2013 at 10:17 pm


  • Reply Niki January 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    We eat soup alot. Have done for years. Often its not left overs but based around whats in veg box. My favourite soup is beetroot and horseradish. Only in the height of summer do I not have soup. Today was celeriac and rocket soup which was lovely. It always helps to have a loaf of home made bread on hand too. Love your blog and your philosophy 🙂

    • Reply Jen January 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      So glad you are enjoying the blog 🙂 Both of those soups sound delicious. Do you add the rocket after blitzing?

      • Reply Niki January 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

        I blitzed the rocket too. It’s like adding a herb & gives an extra fresh, peppery zing to the soup. Enjoy your soup making.

        • Reply Jen January 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

          Thanks Niki 🙂

  • Reply sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring January 26, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Fridge soup? All the time! Today my kids were ecstatic when we ran out of time and couldn’t have leftover veg and kidney bean soup for lunch. “Soup’s all right but we seem to have been having it RATHER a lot recently!” they said!

    • Reply Jen January 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      It’s the weather for it thought isn’t it?! SmallSmall is not that great at eating his veg as yet, but he LOVES soup!!

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