Meet The Soup and The Salad

January 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Salads, Soup, Vegetables | 31 Comments
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We all know we have to do it everyonce in awhile.  Get those noses out of the cookbooks and eyes off the food blogs.  We have to stop looking for our next great creation and walk over to that refrigerator, drag out all that unused produce and use it up before it goes bad.

Meet The Soup and The Salad. This is how I use up all of those vegetables. The soup is just a good old healthy vegetable soup and the easiest thing in the world to make and so flexible and variable. All you need is brothy liquid of your choice, tomatoey liquid, seasonings and vegetables.

Here’s what I had in the fridge:

  • The rest of enoki mushrooms and ginger that I used for Pho earlier in the week
  • A half a bell pepper left from a salad from Wednesday
  • Carrots and celery left over from who knows what last week
  • The partial onions left over from this and that
  • And you know me, I always have cilantro in the house
  • The remainder of the long beans used in a mid-week stir fry
  • I buy those plastic containers of tomatoes from Costco to keep on hand for salads, and they’re starting to look a little sad. 

And by the way, can we all have a moment of silence for those summer fresh tomatoes out of the garden…..Thank you.  Boy am I missing those right now.

Chop the beans in 1-inch pieces 

 In your favorite soup pot heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté, stirring often for another five minutes. 

Add a few cups of stock and seasonings of your choice. I like to add a few shakes or so each of savory, cumin, fennel, basil, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary and marjoram. And always some chopped garlic.

I even added some lemon zest from the lemons that were supposed to go into my next batch of limoncello that I never made.

 And ALWAYS some of this. Pickapeppa is a wonderfully flavored sauce somewhere between Worcestershire Sauce and a steak sauce. I always have a bottle in the fridge for soup.

Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Chop up a bunch of those tomatoes, throw most of them in the simmering soup and save a few for your salad.  If you don’t have fresh tomatoes you can always throw canned tomatoes into the soup.

And the same theory for the salad. Use those greens that are sitting in the produce bin in the fridge. I’m going to give you the recipe for my 1 minute dressing.  I make this a lot and it’s delicious. 

Lea Ann’s 1 Minute Dressing

  • 4 T. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 T. Toasted sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper

Please in a container that you can shake well to blend and pour over your salad. Can anything be any easier?

I like fruit in my salads so I even used up a couple of the Cuties that are on my counter, and I always, and I mean always, have avocados on hand.

So there you have it, a delicious and healthy dinner in about 30 minutes.

A note on salads. I always have items on hand for salads. A trip to Costco will fill your refrigerator with a sack of avocados, a bag of romaine hearts and a bag of red, green, and yellow bell peppers. I buy a large container of tomatoes that I place in a decorative bowl on the kitchen counter.  I eat salads almost everyday for lunch and a quick salad makes a great side dish at dinner.

So there, healthy, easy and my refrigerator is cleaned out and ready for my next week’s menu.  Let the fun resume.

I’m sending this over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sundays feature.



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  1. Can eating get any better than these two delectable dishes? And to think it is all good for you. Now that is perfect! Many thanks…

  2. That soup looks great. It is cold and rainy here in Birmingham today. Perfect soup weather!

    • It’s cold and windy here in Denver. We hardly ever get wind. Thanks Stephanie

  3. Oooh, I love soup and salad! This looks wonderful!

  4. A classic combo, and a good way to use up bits of this and that!

  5. you had me at pickapeppa…

    just finished a very heavy meal. A nice light salad sounds good

    • I love that Pickapeppa sauce Dave! Thanks for stopping by

  6. Way to load up on your fruit and veggie servings!

    • You bet Pam! Always a good thing. 🙂

  7. Not a bad use of leftovers and scraps, it’s the quilt of the food world, lol. Way to take care of business!

    • Sometimes you have to do it, even if you wanted to make a new Pizza that night. 🙂

  8. Yeah this looks delish, nice use of what’s left in fridge.

  9. LOL – just did this as well. But your soup looks sooo good! I’m making chili and threw in the taco meat from Friday as well the last of the ginormous bag of baby bell peppers from Costco . . . and all the little pieces of onion. Great to see the back of the fridge again! Great post and very nice photos – colorful!

    • Thanks Vic! Yes, I can see the back of my fridge too! I think it’s been since before Christmas! 🙂

      As always thanks for stopping by.

  10. Use it up dishes are so often the best. Both the soup and salad look delicious! Thanks for sending them to Souper Sundays!

    • You are so welcome Deb. You know I love Souper Sundays

  11. Yay for souper sundays! I’m making a soup verrrry similar to that right now! Pickapeppa sounds good. I love Worcestershire seasoning so that would be a cool thing to have in the pantry!

  12. I just made a quiche out of “leftovers” from the fridge. It makes you feel very virtuous to turn those stragglers into something healthy!

    • Good idea. I had eggs and could have done the same. Thanks for stopping by..

  13. Looks positively delicious!

  14. This looks soooo much better than the hot dogs I made on Sunday. I really, really need to do a refrigerator clean out too.

    • Ohman, I’ve been craving a hotdog!!!!! Thanks Karen! 🙂

  15. I love throw-together salads from the random stuff in my fridge. Topped with a nice cheese and a light dressing or even just some salsa….Mmmmm.

    • Me too Joanne. Thanks for stopping by.

  16. I really believe that working with what we have and using up leftovers is the mark of a true cook. Anyone can cook with first-pick ingredients but it takes real imagination and talent to use up everything in the fridge and make sure nothing goes to waste.
    Great job!

    • Wow, thanks Natashya. Do I really deserve all those accolades when I really wanted to make pizza that night??? With all new ingredients????? 🙂

      As always, thanks for stopping by.

  17. I actually like clean the frig day. It feels so good to get it cleaned out. I hate wasting food!

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