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What to do with your leftovers? Vegetable Soup!

I’m not sure what I was eating last week, but it definitely wasn’t my usual amount of vegetables judging by how much there was left in my fridge! I had a lot leftover and definitely didn’t want to throw it away (trying to save my pennies and all that). If you ever have any leftovers in your fridge, the solution is always a good old vegetable soup. It is the perfect seasonal dish and as the weather has turned this weekend, this warm lunch went down a treat.

Not only is soup a handy way to use up any leftover food or items that are no longer at their best, it is full of goodness that you have total control over when you make it yourself. I like knowing exactly what has gone into my soup. I add in extra protein if I need it. I throw in a handful of spinach for additional iron intake. I add flavours and spices to suit my tastes. It is such an easy way to increase your vegetable consumption, plus you’re having a filling and hearty lunch that will keep you full. It is so simple to make too, just follow the below vegetable soup recipe and see what you think.

Vegetable soup with crumbled goats cheese on top, served with garlic ciabatta

Ingredients for my seasonal vegetable soup

The below will make around 6 servings:

  • 3 leeks
  • 2 onions (white or red, whatever you have available)
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 10 baby tomatoes (or however many you want to put in)
  • 1 brocolli
  • Half a cauliflower
  • 2 stock cubes (plus stock)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • A large handful of spinach (again, whatever amount you want to add)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Goats cheese (for crumbling)

Ingredients for leftover vegetable soup

Obviously this recipe is for my leftovers not yours, so the ingredients will vary. You can easily start a soup base with just leeks, onions and garlic and then simply add in your other flavours from there if you had other ingredients that you wanted to use.

Vegetable Soup Method

  1. Slice your leeks, onions and garlic and add them to a heated pan (preferably one with a lid)
  2. Place the lid on the pan and allow the mixture to steam/fry within the pan (until soft)
  3. Whilst your mixture is softening, chop your carrot into slices and cut your broccoli and cauliflower into small florets
  4. Add the carrot to the mixture and stir for 2 minutes
  5. Add a litre of chicken stock to the mixture
  6. Bring the stock to the boil and then add in the cauliflower and broccoli florets. Place the lid on the pan, turn down the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes, or until the vegetables is soft
  7. After 15 minutes, add in the tomatoes and coconut milk and boil for a further 5 minutes (I missed this step when I created the recipe and added these once I had blended the mixture)
  8. Once all of your vegetables are soft, you need to blend your mixture. I use a hand blender, but you can use a smoothie maker, food processor or anything you have available
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste, crumble on the goats cheese and your soup is ready!

Chopped leeks and onion added to a pan on the cooker

Broccoli and cauliflower florets, carrot chunks, spinach and tomatoes for vegetable soup

Chopped leeks, onions, garlic and carrots steaming in the pan on the oven

Stock added to all of the vegetables in the pan.

Vegetables being blended with a hand blender

 

If you do have different ingredients, you can still follow points 1 and 2 to get your base flavours. You will need stock to liquefy your mixture, but you can make other changes. Swap coconut milk for crème fraîche, milk or a can of tomatoes if that is what is available. As explained briefly in an earlier post, I don’t usually boil my veg, but in this instance I made an exception. The veg is boiled in the water that will be used as the base for my soup, so some of these usually lost nutrients will remain.

Use up your leftovers!

I hope you love this autumn soup recipe and are encouraged to come up with tasty ways to use up your food instead of throwing it away! In the UK we throw away 7 million tonnes of food a year (isn’t that insane!) and shockingly the majority of this could have been eaten. Exactly like the food in my fridge! So please share your clever food ideas with me below. This recipe has made me roughly 6 batches of soup which I definitely won’t eat all at once. I will freeze this deliciousness ready to enjoy on the next rainy day.



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