Do leftover vegetables, bits of cut vegetables and vegetables going bad haunt your refrigerator? I’m a Hollander. We believe it’s a sin to throw food away. And often vegetables aren’t spoiled, only aging. Make hearty, healthy recipes from leftovers. Leftovers makes excellent soup, summer, winter, spring or fall. As I write, I’m enjoying a soup made from leftover vegetables in the refrigerator.
First of all, how can you tell if a vegetable is spoiled or only old? And does it really matter? Even if vegetables have a bit of mold on them the bad spots can be cut out and the fresh parts still used. Vegetables that only a bit dried out, aren’t really spoiled. Potatoes will shrivel as they age. As long as they aren’t black or moldy they can be used to make delicious recipes. Cooking dehydrated potatoes will perk them right back to a regular shape.
And what about all those leftover bits of vegetables? The Zip-loc bags of chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, partially eaten cucumbers, bits of summer squash and zucchini, withered carrots, leftovers from a vegetable tray, half a stalk of celery, leftover mushrooms, broccoli that’s yellowing, the head of cabbage or cauliflower that has brown spots. None of those foods needs to become landfill fodder. Re-purpose your leftover vegetables into a delicious soup.
That’s how I made today’s vegetable soup. I’ve been ill the past few days and prior to this I’d had an overly zealous shopping spree in the produce aisle. What does that spell? A refrigerator full of aging, ailing vegetables. I had also thawed some fish that needed to be eaten. So while cleaning the refrigerator, I set a pot of water, a stick of margarine, salt and some chopped herbs from my garden to simmer. Into this pot went the fresh fish, several potatoes diced (with ‘eyes’ or roots and brown spots thoroughly removed) half each of a turnip and rutabaga, left from pasties, cubed. As I cleaned, I found several tomato halves, still fresh, some chopped onions, a dessicated leek, and a head of broccoli starting to yellow. To this harvest bounty, I squeezed the juice from several leftover lemon wedges. Simmer until fish is cooked and flaky and tubers are tender. Serve with a dry white wine and fresh bread.
You can certainly add any leftover cooked vegetables to your leftover lottery soup. Add cooked vegetables after the raw ones have had time to cook. I’m going to affectionately name this soup for my mother who will be very proud of me for not wasting food: Nan’s Leftover Vegetable Chowder. For more on food and cooking, visit me at Great Food 4u.