Part of the reason I love soup so much is because it doesn’t really require a recipe. I can confidently say I am not the most talented recipe curator – too much measurement. My favorite meals and moments are throwing things together in a pot or blender or pan and just seeing what happens. This soup is something that happened. And the best part? Made entirely from leftovers. I lied, there’s another best part. I took a little poll and asked how other people make use of food parts that are traditionally thrown out. Got some pretty amazing material, including a little anecdote about feeding a stray raccoon? Weird. Just how I like it. Catch it all below!
What you’ll need:
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery bunch, diced
- olive oil spray
- 1/4 tsp garlic
- 7-8 cups vegetable broth (bought or homemade)
- 1.5 cups lentils
- 6 carrots, chopped
- 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped into medium sized chunks
- 1 pepper, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 can pinto beans
- 2 bay leaves
- spices: rosemary, salt, pepper, basil (shakes of each, to taste)
What you’ll do:
- Saute celery and onions in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic in a large pot.
- Add 5 cups vegetable broth, diced carrots, and 1.5 cups lentils to the pot. Let simmer for a half hour.
- Add peeled and chopped potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, fire roasted tomatoes, pinto beans, bay leaves, spices, and remaining broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for another half hour, or until vegetables are tender.
10 Ways to Decrease Food Waste:
- Take the scraps of vegetables and turn them into a broth.
- Move older products to the front of the fridge, and newer purchases to the back.
- Instead of making something new, one night per week try making dinner out of only things you have on hand.
- Leave the skins on certain vegetables, e.g. potatoes and cucumbers
- Cook with the stems rather than tossing them, like with broccoli and cauliflower
- If something is about to go bad, can, freeze, sugar, salt, or pickle it!
- “I use the food scraps leftover from juicing to make what my cookbook calls “‘zero waste bites’: mix all the scraps together with an egg (or two-depending how much you have), add some spices, form the mixture into patties, and pan fry them in the oil of your choice to make delicious homemade veggie burgers.” –@kcott55
- “I basically freeze everything going bad to use for smoothies.” –@east.coast.avocado
- “Most of the ends that I chop off my veggies end up getting replanted. So much waste that usually ends up in the garbage can actually yield new food. Just chop a few inches from th ends and plant in water or soil depending on what the fruit/veggie is. I currently have two heads of lettuce, a few celery stalks, cilantro, and some green onions going strong. Anything I can’t grow, freeze and use later, or blend into my baking to get in some extra greens ends up in the compost pile, and eventually, fully cycle, fertilizing the food I grow.” –@fitness.inflipflops
- “Compost! I secretly take scraps of food I can’t think of how to reuse and leave it outside for the critter visitors we get (don’t tell my neighbors, I feel bad because the poor things have to eat too!) — there’s a little possum family that’s made refuge somewhere near our complex and also raccoons on occasion.” –@kaleismybloodtype