It's time for your weekly grocery trip, but you still have a few veggies hanging around that you don't want to throw out. What can you do with them? The next time you're cleaning out your fridge, make a delicious, hearty soup with your leftovers from the holiday. Here are the steps to make a perfect soup with your leftovers every time, so no more food goes to waste.
1. Choose Your Liquid
Liquid makes up the base of your soup, but it doesn't have to be the most exciting ingredient. If you have vegetable, chicken, or beef broth on hand, use it for a flavorful base. If you're making a creamy soup, you may choose alternative milk as your base, such as full-fat coconut milk.
2. Sauté Your Veggies
Now comes the fun part— cleaning out your fridge. There are no rules for making soup; you can use any veggies that you like. If your fridge is empty, you can also add canned or frozen veggies -- the options are endless. Before adding them to the broth, sauté any tough vegetables, such as bell peppers and carrots, in a pan with oil. You should also add all your spices and seasonings during this step. This will ensure that the veggies are nice and soft and that the spices have released their aromas and flavors.
3. Add an Acidic Ingredient
Regardless of the soup you make, it needs an acidic ingredient, such as citrus juice or vinegar. Depending on what you have at home and what soup you're making, you can use cooking wine, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, or whatever else you prefer. The acidity adds flavor to the soup and breaks up some of the sweetness from your veggies, mainly if you use tomatoes. Add your acidic ingredient to the veggies and let them cook for a few minutes.
Add a Source of Carbohydrates and Protein
Unless you want to make a light soup, adding protein and carbohydrates is necessary to make a filling meal. You can add rice, quinoa, barley, or potatoes as a source of complex carbohydrates. Beans and legumes, such as lentils or chickpeas, are affordable and healthy sources of plant-based proteins and carbohydrates. They are also full of fiber and have a long shelf-life, so you can always keep some in your pantry. If you're adding meat, you may also put your cooked meat in the pot now.
5. Add the Liquid
Finally, add the liquid broth to your ingredients. Allow the soup to simmer until all your ingredients are cooked, and the flavors have mixed. The timing will depend on the ingredients you use and the type of soup you're making. It's that simple! Now, enjoy, and feel proud that you used up all your leftovers.
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