Too Tired to Cook, Make it a Leftover Soup Night

Whether we want to or not, we can’t help our bellies from needing to get their fill come dinner time.  Some nights we may find ourselves so tired that we wish we didn’t have to attend to this need, hoping to opt out and just head to bed.  But our bellies will remind us in the wee hours of the night should we take this path, so its best to satisfy yourself with a little something before you hit the pillow.

When you just cant muster up the energy to really cook a full meal for yourself, a wonderful way to make a satisfying meal is with a soup made from left overs.

I eat soup regularly.  I find it satisfying for my belly which can at times be craving a little rest from processing all the food I consume.  Its a nice way to fill you up and not feel heavy with a big meal.  Its also super simple to put together.

Each week I find leftovers in my fridge, be it a few vegetables that didn’t make the stir, or some grains and beans.  This usually comes on Friday nights, when I have already spent the week cooking and am ready for a break.  When I am, I take all the leftovers to create a soup.

For my soup base I often use a combination of a  low-sodium vegetable broth and the water from vegetables that I have boiled.  The water left over from vegetables such as broccoli-rabe and kale are full of vitamins and minerals and can be stored in your fridge for weeks or in the freezer.  When storing it in the freezer, you may want to use an ice tray, that way you can pop out a few as you need them, they are great to add to any cooking you do.

For the soup itself, aside from leftovers, I always keep good frozen vegetables on hand that add good flavor and bulk when I want a thicker soup.  Some of my favorites are mushrooms, red and yellow peppers and mixed vegetable medleys like carrot, broccoli and cauliflower.

In a few easy steps you can have dinner.  To a pot on medium heat add a nice bunch of sauteed onion and garlic (you can buy the pre-cut).  Once translucent add frozen vegetables with a little sea salt.   You might also want to cut a few kombu strips of seaweed to the pot as it will create nice flavor and give your vegetables some added mineral content.  Cover the pot and let the vegetables start to wilt.

Once they have, give them a good stir, add in some water to cover and any chopped up left overs you might have on hand.  Let the pot sit and do its thing, the flavors will have a chance to come together.   Once the smell hits the room and you are called back to the pot, stir and taste.  Add fresh herbs to your desire.  A few favorites of mine are dill, parsley, cilantro, chives and thyme.

The flavors of your soup can really come together when served blended.  If you have a few extra leftover greens, throw them on top before you serve.   A nice side of heated up quinoa or millet can make it a really hearty meal.

So when time and tiredness have you wanting to just take a break from the kitchen, grab a hold of those leftovers, a nice size pot and a few herbs and you got yourself a soup to enjoy and get you to bed satisfied.



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