Saturday, 13 August 2011

Kitchen Sink Soup

This soup got me through university and is still quite useful when you have a bunch of vegetables hanging around and no inspiration.  I hate wasting food, so when I have bits and pieces leftover, I just throw them in a pot.  There are no fixed rules with this soup.  But here are a few general  guidelines for making a tasty soup.  This freezes really well or lasts two days in the fridge. 

1.  Start by chopping 1-2 onions (any kind) and frying in a little olive oil in a large casserole/soup pot.  Add some chopped garlic.  Then any of the following:  chopped celery, chopped carrot, and chopped (raw) root vegetables--potato, parsnip, etc.  Stir until the veg are softened.
2.  Add some homemade stock.  If you don't have homemade stock, then add a stock cube, gel or liquid with the appropriate amount of liquid. 
3.  Now is the time to add vegetables such as courgettes (zucchini), green beans, peas, corn, etc.  Think non-leafy veg which grow above the ground.  Cook until soft.  Add canned or cooked beans, cooked chicken, meat, seafood.......The last things to go in are spinach, lettuce (yes!--the only way to use up lettuce that I know of), herbs, and cooked leftover veg including potatoes, etc. 
4.  You can season with spices, spice mixtures, herbs, coconut cream or coconut milk.  Taste the soup using a new, clean spoon each time.  If it tastes nice, then eat it.  If not, then add something to give it zing. 
5.  I prefer to use a stick/immersion blender to blitz my soup a bit, but not completely smooth.  Serve with your favourite accompaniments.  (Sourdough bread with butter is our fave.  But you can also use a dollop of pesto, croutons, toasted seeds, or even popcorn sprinkled on top).

(Today's soup was made using:  1 red onion, 1 white onion, 2 cloves garlic, tbsp olive oil, 2 carrots, 1 celery stalk, 1 can of corn, 1 courgette, 1 leftover baked potato, 1/2 head lettuce, 1 tin haricot beans, homemade chicken stock.  We did not need additional flavouring because the stock was made from a roast chicken I made using a wonderful Middle Eastern Spice Blend.  This soup really packed a punch.)

**Please note:  Although this is a great way to use up excess or even old produce, do not use food which is moldy, or lettuce which is brown.   These can be really hazardous to your health.

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