Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Clean-out-the-Fridge" Vegetable Soup

Having a refrigerator full of either the beginnings or the ends or recipes is a hazard of being a cook. My refrigerator is always chock full of herbs and vegetables, waiting for their use in some upcoming recipe. But often, due to time constraints or just not getting around to using them, inevitably some of it winds up in the trash can.

As I was thinking earlier this morning about what I wanted to make, I knew I wanted to make a nice warm soup that would be perfect for the cold weather we've been having. I started thinking about what vegetables I wanted to get at the grocery store, and what herbs and seasonings I wanted to use. I was deep in thought when it hit me - I have a pantry and refrigerator full of perfectly good stuff that I could make something decent out of.

So I skipped the store, came straight home, and started pulling out all of the dormant vegetables I had. I just started chopping, sauteing, and mixing it all together, and this lovely and warming soup was born.

The best thing about this recipe is I'm sure you could use absolutely whatever you had on hand, adding whatever vegetables you needed to get rid of. It's also ridiculously easy, and positively low in fat and calories. I also threw in some rice, but feel free to leave it out, or add the grain of your choice.

"Clean-out-the-Fridge" Vegetable Soup

"Clean-out-the-Fridge" Vegetable Soup
1 c onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 c baby carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
2 vegetable bouillon cubes, crumbled*
1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
3/4 tsp fennel seed, crushed
1/4 tsp ground savory
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cups water*
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt/pepper to taste

In 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, saute onion, bell pepper, carrots, and celery for a minutes in large saucepan over medium high heat. Cover with lid, and cook vegetables for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and bay leaf, and saute another 2 minutes. Add bouillon cubes and remainder of spices. Stir in can of tomatoes and 6 cups of water, and bring to a boil. (*If you do not have vegetable bouillon cubes, simply use 6 cups of vegetable stock) Add rice, and return to a boil. Cover with lid, and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, simmer an additional 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper, and serve.


Linda said...

i am always head-over-heels in love with your photos. the colors you are able to capture are just phenomenal. not to mention this looks delicious. thanks for posting it.

kickpleat said...

that's how most of my soup recipes are born too! looks yummy and i always forget to add rice to a much better than just all veg.

Rachael said...

What gorgeous photography! I think I'm in love. Do you mind if I ask what kind of camera setup/lenses you have?

These recipes look fantastic as well. Definitely adding your blog to my "blog watch" folder!

Catherine said...

Lovely! Many great recipes are born from the what do I need to use up question.

leslie @ definitely not martha said...

Yummy! I love it. I often make a 'random fridge vegetable' soup. And it's always yummy. :)

rachael - I'm not sure what camera Fiber uses, but any of the entry-level digital SLRs get great results. I use a Nikon D70 (with the kit lens), but I've seen tons of people who use the Canon Digital Rebel (with a 50mm lens) and their pictures are awesome. You really do need to get the SLR to get the awesome pics though. It gives you control and allows you to take low-light pics with no flash. :) (Fiber, hope you don't mind my blather!!!!!)

Rachael said...

Thanks for the tips mrbunsrocks. I am actually a bit of a photographer and I am curious what particular focal length lens fiber is using. These photos are beautiful

leslie @ definitely not martha said...

rachael - if you click on Fiber's pictures, you can see her flickr account, and from there, you can see the EXIF data. :)

It appears that she's using a 6mm focal length and f/2.7 aperture. Flickr rocks. :)

Lincoln Writer said...

I'm adding you to my favorites -- these are such great recipes, I'm actually inspired to cook. Not that it matters, but are you really "a 28-year old vegaquarian" or is this a professional site?

Fiber said...

Linda - thanks for the compliments!!

Kickpleat - Yep, the rice was a last-minute addition to mine, since I wanted it a bit more hearty. I do love a good "cleaning" soup.

Rachael - don't mind at all. It's actually just luck and good lighting in my living room. =) I shoot with a Canon Powershot S3, and since I'm still learning how to use the new settings, I pretty much just put it on super macro mode and pray something good comes out. It's more luck than anything.

Mrbunsrocks - Oh, I'm dying for one of the Nikons. I think when I upgrade again, it will definitely be one of those. And thanks for giving the information. And you're right - I love Flickr since it does store that info about the pictures.

Lincoln Writer - Thanks for the compliments - I'm flattered. And I'm actually 29 now, but I'm still just a vegaquarian who loves to cook, and has some luck with her photography. If you check out my first few entries in January 2006, you'll see how much of an amateur I was. I'm still learning!

Anonymous said...

great recipe, thanks for share!

Anonymous said...

Did I miss the amount of rice you threw in? I threw in a half cup and it seemed to work for me.
Thanks for a great soup!