Leftover vegetables lurking in the bottom of the fridge or vegetable basket? Don't worry, we all do it at some point. The quickest remedy is th throw them away and hope no-one noticed, but really it is not necessary much simpler and guilt free, it to transform them quickly and easily into a hearty Leftover Vegetable Soup.transform them quickly and easily into a hearty Leftover Vegetable Soup.
Sort vegetables your vegetables into types (root vegetables, leafy greens, peppers and soft vegetables like tomatoes) and decide what goes with what then head to the stove.
I always like to start my soups with a base of sauteed onion, garlic, carrots and celery and a good stock then quite literally almost anything else added to the soup pan is OK. Occasionally I will add a few spices to root vegetable soups for extra flavour. And, a few chili flakes spice things up no end.
- All the vegetables listed here are simply a guide, use what you have.
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 2 celery stalks, washed and chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 300g (3 cups )vegetables, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks**
- 600ml (20 fl oz) vegetable, chicken or beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- Salt and black pepper
- In a large stock pot or soup pan, heat the vegetable oil, add the onion and gently cook until the onions begin to soften. Add the garlic, carrot and celery and cook for another 5 minutes taking care not to burn the garlic.
- Add the chopped vegetables and stir, add the stock and bay leaf (and spices if using) and cook until all the vegetables are soft and cooked through (approx 20 minutes).
- Blend the soup in the pan using a stick blender or pour into a food processor and blend. You can choose to create a smooth soup, or leave it a little chunky; the choice is yours.
- Cook the soup for a further 5 minutes to reduce slightly, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- This soup will also freeze very well and is certainly a better way to freeze those leftover veggies.
Vegetables to Use for Soup
**Great vegetables for soup include - parsnips, celeriac, leeks, sweet potato, or any other winter roots, broccoli, cauliflower. Make sure they are the vegetables are cleaned, peeled and cut into similar size chunks. The addition of the root vegetables helps to thicken a soup and means less time reducing on the stove.
Leafy greens great in soup include spinach, watercress, cabbage, collard greens, and rocket aka ruccola.
And, don't forget fresh herbs for even more flavour.
Don't be afraid of adding cooked vegetables to the soup. These can be added towards the end of the cooking to make sure they are thoroughly heated through. Great addition to the soup is mashed potatoes, which will thicken the soup as well as add flavour and volume.