Well friends, turns out I love food. If you’ve been following for long, you’ve witnessed what seemed to be the endless exploring of several different markets and the entertaining lessons during cooking classes.
I’d like to share something that I’ve been doing for years and I’m sure there are many people out there who have had a similar ideas. My grandma’s “refrigerator soup” for example, is all the left overs from the fridge into a pot that magically turns into some sort of tasty stew. My version uses fresh ingredients, that in most households gets pushed aside or discarded to waste.
I now realize that I’ve never given it a name, so here’s my version of “leftovers”. (I’ll have to give it an appropriate title someday).
On this beautiful afternoon I was playing with spinach, cilantro and beet leaves for a salad to pair with garlic roasted butternut squash. Don’t you wish that was the goodness I was sharing? Sorry, recipes will come later. This post is about recycling the part of the herb or veggie that doesn’t get used in the common meal!
Step one: Clean your scrumptious items and cut what you’d like to use for your proper dish. Put that bulk section aside for whatever you got them for in the first place.
Step two: Place all of the stems, guts, limbs, leaves, ends, crumbs and other miscellaneous unwanted parts into a pot with a little water.
Step 3: Add any other veggies from your stash that need to be used before they go bad. Even throw in some seasonings if you want. Today I tossed in the outer edge of an onion and a few garlic cloves that I had laying around. Also, to add some density, I added a few cubes of the uncooked squash.
Turmeric fun facts: (Maybe not fun, but useful… You should look into it)
There are countless internal health benefits of Turmeric – anti inflammatory, diabetes control, liver detox, weight management, reduction in cancer growth, boosts immune system, aids digestion, preventive powers with Alzheimer’s…the list goes on! However, did you know that it’s also a natural antiseptic and antibacterial? If you have a cut or burn, you can sprinkle turmeric powder on the affected area to speed up the healing process.
Step 4: Simmer just long enough to barely soften all of the goodies. (We’ve all been told not to overcook vegetables in order to maintain as much of the nutrients as possible, right?).
Step 5: Let cool, especially if you’re going to be using plastic. Follow by launching (or gently scooping) your veg-o-chaos into a mixer including the flavorful broth left behind. Blend it up!
What to do with it now? Purée it for a sauce, let it be the base for a pasta dish or maybe mix it in with brown rice and kidney beans. Usually I would top my soup off with the roasted seeds from above, however on this day, I ate them right out of the oven. Typical.
To be honest, my usual routine consists of eating a majority of it straight from the mixer then saving the “leftovers” for the main course. Yes mom, I know… You should never eat standing up. I’m working on it”.
Happy leftover cooking to you!
I’m not quite that thrifty, but do have homemade turkey broth, turkey scraps, roasted butternut squash, and wild rice/black rice leftovers in the freezer waiting for my next batch of ‘freezer soup’. I should have some leftover oregano and cilantro to add to that batch. 🙂 Thanks for the cooking lesson!