The Best Soup I’ve Ever Made by Heidi Kise

‘Tis the season to be thankful for what we have and attempt to avoid that creeping gluttonous feeling. Overindulgence is something our society has become very accustomed to. If we have a nice meal yet are not stuffed to the gills, we often think that the portions were too small. Other unfortunate habits include tossing away rotten food in the trash from the refrigerator and not eating/saving leftovers. Leftovers are often my favorite things to eat. Creating something magical for breakfast from last night’s dinner is a fun task in our home. When we have excess vegetables in our refrigerator, soup is one of the things I often make.

Sharing big bowls of soup with crusty Italian bread around the fireplace with wine, cozy sweaters and loved ones is one of my favorite things to do on these cold winter evenings. Soup is satiating and soulful and even though it can be eaten all year long, now really is the best time to enjoy a steaming bowl. It isn’t typically considered fancy and it can include just about anything at all.

freezerSoup gives you a chance to stretch your creativity by using what you have on hand. Most of you who know me well, know that I don’t like waste. In this attempt to avoid waste, I toss many goodies, that might otherwise go unused, in the freezer. Even if it’s just a quarter cup of something, I am often surprised at what I can do with it later. At any given time, you’ll find about a dozen labeled ziplocs in our freezer. Examples of what you might find may be: leftover caramelized onions, tomato paste, black beans, a myriad of sautéed vegetables, mushroom stock, and braised pork. If I know we won’t be able to enjoy some produce we have, before it goes bad, I briefly sauté it in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pop it in the freezer. This same rule applies if I have some cooked meat or grains that will go unused or even herbs and stock.

On a recent Sunday, I dove in to this surprise of ziplocs and made what will forever be called, the “Best Soup I’ve Ever Made.” I wouldn’t typically serve a “freezer” soup to guests, however, this one is tasty enough to! Sometimes all you need for dinner is right at your fingertips. That, and a pinch of creativity.

Freezer Soup
  1. 2 T. olive oil
  2. 2 cups sautéed veg (carrot, onion, fennel)
  3. 1 t. mixed herbs, minced (thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc)
  4. ¼ cup sautéed green garlic
  5. 1 cup sautéed kale (or other greens like spinach or arugula)
  6. 1 cup whole white beans
  7. 2 cups farro, cooked (can use any grain you have)
  8. 2 chopped tomatoes and their juices
  9. enough stock to create desired consistency
  10. soy sauce
  11. Sriracha
  1. In a dutch oven, add oil and sautéed veg and sauté on medium low for 2 minutes. Add herbs and sauté another 2 minutes. Add everything else and simmer for 10 minutes until all the flavors have melded.
  2. Add a splash of soy sauce and sriracha. Enjoy with bread.
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