Zero Waste Week – Day 2 – What Makes a Soup?

Growing up I only knew one kind of soup. It required chicken, white rice, carrots, celery, corn, cabbage, salt, pepper, comino, garlic powder, and part of a can of tomato sauce. That was the only soup I knew, so if I had planned to make soup for dinner and didn’t have one of those ingredients on hand, I ended up eating something else instead.

Well, that was just silly. Soup can be made from anything, and it’s a perfect way to use up random veg in your fridge.

So today, into a pot half-filled with water I added veggies that I had on hand: carrots, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and corn. At the last minute I also discovered a potato hiding away and threw it into the pot. There’s so much potential for food waste prevention here. I had a couple of bell peppers, so I chose the one that was slightly softer to add. (Sometimes bell pepper seeds add a nice texture, but unfortunately my pepper today was not seed-rich.) Got ugly carrots? Slicing and boiling them makes those cosmetic blemishes totally disappear.

For seasoning, I added the standard salt and pepper. Plus some red pepper flakes (I have a ton of flakes from pizza lunch leftovers at work), comino, coriander, and oregano. If I had other seasonings in my pantry, I’d use those instead. Just don’t add something like cinammon unless you’re really adventurous. We’re trying to keep food out of the trash, remember?

Did I need chicken? Not quite. Strangely, I saw two of them walking through different parts of the neighborhood on my way home from work today, but I wasn’t tempted to slaughter them for dinner.

Of course, if you have a half-eaten chicken leg in the fridge or other random leftovers, throw those in too. It’ll only add value.

Some people use mushrooms as a meat replacement. I had some in the fridge, as well as some chickpeas that were ready to go. I totally forgot about them. Did the soup suffer? Nope, it was still delish. (The shrooms and chickpeas will get eaten later this week, no worries.)

For carbs, I added a bit of everything–brown rice, wild rice blend, and also barley for texture. Every once in a while I’ll throw in a bit of quinoa because my husband loves it. Other times we’ll just throw in some kind of pasta. Pretty much anything will work here. The only thing is if you use something that generally cooks fast, wait a bit longer before throwing it in to keep it from getting too mushy.

That’s it! Water and whatever else you have on hand. That’s what makes a soup.

So good I ate most of it my bowl before snapping a picture. 🙂

What recipes do you have to help prevent food waste?


One thought on “Zero Waste Week – Day 2 – What Makes a Soup?

  1. Grace McCarter September 11, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    OMG, so this isn’t exactly following the same topic but this helped me just flip a switch in my brain on how to handle something!
    My boyfriend doesn’t have many vegan protein sources he really enjoys. In fact, aside from Bush’s vegetarian baked beans and peanuts I’m hard-pressed to think of anything. But I realized, oh wait! He likes cashews! I’m sure he likes other sources of nuts as well. He doesn’t have to eat protein with his MEALS. If he’s getting healthy produce and carbs as his meals, there’s bound to be a hint of produce in that and I could pack protein laden snacks for him for when he goes to work. We’ve been together for ~8 years now, so I’ve been trying to think about how I’m going to feed him a healthy diet when we very likely live together. He doesn’t even like soup(unless it’s a crab soup his mom makes which is basically a vegetable soup with a little crab added in). And trying to get him to try new things is always very difficult. =,=

    He’s incapable of cooking for himself at the moment. I’ve been trying to nudge him into becoming more self-sufficient so he doesn’t have to rely on his mother’s cooking or fast food places. I’ve metaphorically been trying to feed him soup when what he’d really prefer is components of it. *light bulb*


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