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Refrigerator Soup

Posted by tinako on May 14, 2009

Today’s lunch was a Quesadilla with a pear and vegetable juice.

Refrigerator Soup, Nut Brown Ale Bread, Tofu

Refrigerator Soup, Nut Brown Ale Bread, Tofu

This is soup night, and while I sometimes make a recipe soup, also making a strong showing in the rotation is what I call Refrigerator Soup, because I just go through and work on whatever has been hanging around in there.  I know that sounds unappetizing, but it is actually very good, and my kids’ favorite soup.

So what you do is heat up some oil on medium and put in some chopped onion.  I am making just enough soup for myself and two kids, so I will mention the amounts I used tonight.  Half an onion, and I prefer yellow.  Let it fry on medium heat for several minutes until it starts to turn brown, but don’t let it burn.  I then put in 1-1/2 carrots and 1-1/2 celery, chopped pretty small.  I save the center of the celery, that isn’t too great for straight eating, just for this.  I like to put in a little mushroom, chopped into molecules, if my husband won’t be eating it, to get my kids used to the flavor.  I also put in a clove of garlic, minced.  Other possibilities would be zucchini, potato, squash, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, green beans, greens, you name it, and any of these can be precooked leftovers.

As soon as I hear it really sizzling, I stir it around and then add 2 c water and bring it to a boil.  I usually will put in some kind of protein, so today I had that leftover Yellow Spice Rice and I put in about 3/4 c.  Other times I have put in barley, which has a nice chewy texture and will be done about when the root veggies are.  Another thing I keep on hand is some tiny multicolor whole wheat alphabet pasta.  It was expensive, but you only need about 1/4 c for a small pot of soup, so the bag lasts a long time, and kids get a kick out of it (“Now I’m going to eat a… Zither”).  If you already know your alphabet, any small whole wheat pasta would be nice.  Or a can of beans.  Or whatever is in your fridge or pantry that says, “Eat me!”  Put in some veggie stock cubes/paste.  I use the Better Than Bouillon paste.  Start with half the amount that would go with the water you used and then add to taste (I just eyeball the amounts).  If it is not salty enough, add more bouillon paste.  Add other herbs if you want – due to the spiced rice I didn’t really need anything else.  Thyme often goes very well with this soup – maybe 1/4 tsp to start.  One time I put in hummus I wanted to use up – it was good!  Cook 20 minutes until veggies are tender and barley is done.  If I want peas or corn in there I would add them towards the end.

I always serve this with bread, and tonight it was leftover Nut Brown Ale Bread, which goes very well with this soup.  Because there weren’t any legumes in the soup and we hadn’t had a whole lot today, I cooked up the rest of the tofu as a side dish.

Chocolate Chip Bars

Chocolate Chip Bars

For dessert I tried a new recipe, Chocolate Chip Bars.  I am not satisfied with the recipe as is, so I’m not going to post it.  It came out too cakey, but to be fair, I tinkered with it a LOT.  It was good, but not a bar.  I took notes in the cookbook and am going to try again sometime.  I’ll let you know if I get it right.  FYI, it was from How it All Vegan.

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