As I write this, my DH (dear husband) is creating something he calls “Clear Out The Refrigerator” Soup. We’re at the start of a two-day cold snap, which calls for gloves, turtlenecks and something warm, comforting and low-calorie to eat.
Pretty much anything edible can be turned into soup. In this case, we’ve been stockpiling withered vegetables, accidentally frozen herbs, and most of a large box of chicken broth. It either needs to become soup or compost.
Making soup couldn’t be simpler, even for you non-cooks out there.
- Chop up an onion, a couple of garlic cloves, some celery and some carrots. This will be your mirepoix (“meer-pwah”). Sauté them with a little olive oil in a large pot.
- Roughly chop the rest of your ingredients and throw them in. Today’s haul includes carrots, turnips, some kale, some collard greens, mysteriously frozen basil, some dill, red potatoes and a can of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) without the liquid. Quantities don’t matter.
- Cover with liquid: approximately half chicken or vegetable stock, and half water.
- Simmer on low heat for a couple of hours until vegetables start to soften. Add water if it’s getting too thick (more like a stew than a soup).
- Season to taste with salt and fresh pepper. Add ground herbs such as oregano and rosemary for more flavor.
Here, DH and I diverge. He likes the individual tastes of the separate veggies in broth. I prefer using an immersion blender to purée them to a texture resembling pea soup.
Either way, simmer until the flavors blend, re-checking and adjusting your seasoning as needed. Add a hunk of crusty bread, some cheese and a glass of wine. Voilà: dinner!