February 3, 2010

Scrap Soup: An Easy To Remember Recipe

I don't know about your family, but on a cold winter's day, mine loves hot soup for lunch. Unfortunately I find commercially canned soups, especially the ones with whole food ingredients, too expensive. And when it comes to soup recipes, I'll be the first to admit that I don't like fuss with one. We've got a lot going on around here so I like things that are simple to make as well as nutritious to eat. Scrap Soup is my answer to that. It's frugal, fun, nutritious, and never boring.

Scrap Soup

  1. Open fridge
  2. Remove all leftovers and unused raw veggies. Literally. I mean it. (You may omit leftover fruits and desserts if desired, but be daring if you like)
  3. Chop, cut, or dice to preferred size
  4. Put all (I mean all) into a pot
  5. Add liquid, as much as you want soup for. (I save & freeze all my cooking liquids from potatoes, pasta, steamed veggies, etc. )
  6. Add a handful of uncooked legumes or grains if needed
  7. Season to taste
  8. Cook all day, the longer the better (This is a good one for a crock pot if you don't have a wood stove to cook it on)
  9. Enjoy with homemade crackers or bread

  • raw onions
  • raw okra
  • last of the fresh garden green beans
  • gravy
  • chicken broth
  • cooked rolled spelt cereal
  • leftover tomato salad
  • 1/2 gallon potato cooking water
  • last of the homemade salsa
  • homemade, home canned tomato relish
  • handfuls of lentils
  • and brown rice
Comments - pleasing combination of flavors, but could have used more seasoning.

  • broccoli cooking water
  • cooked broccoli stems (liquefied in blender)
  • spaghetti
  • green beans
  • tomato juice
  • lima beans which had sweet pickle juice added to the cooking water
  • pineapple
  • sausage
  • salt
  • pepper
Comments: The tomato, sweet pickle juice, pineapple, and sausage made a tasty flavor combination.

  • Thanksgiving turkey including neck and tail
  • giblet cooking water
  • cornbread stuffing
  • celery
  • onions
  • corn cut off cob
  • carrot
  • broccoli stems
  • potato cooking water
  • brown rice
  • turkey gravy
  • mashed potatoes
  • sauerkraut juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sage
  • Italian seasoning
Comments: Absolutely yummy! Wonderfully warming on a dark, damp, chilly, rainy day.

  • pork and chicken bones
  • one lime
  • pasta cooking water
  • steamed turnips
  • sautéed onions
  • raw onions
  • celery
  • ginger carrots
  • lima beans
  • last of the Christmas turkey
Preparation - simmer bones and lime in water for two or three days. The acid in the lime helps dissolve the minerals out of the bones. Discard bones & lime peel before adding other ingredients.

  • cup of pearled barley
  • salt
  • a couple of fresh rosemary sprigs
Comments: Really good! Couldn't even tell that it had been cooked with lime.

You get the idea!


Renee Nefe said...

I'm in a soup mood, but I can't get the small picky eater to go for it.

I just recently got her to eat most of my stew... she just eats the meat and potatoes...I have to leave the onion & celery in large bits so I can remove them so the large picky eater will eat it. note I put the onion & celery back into my portion. ;o)

Julie said...

Yummy I love soup! So you save the water after cooking veggies?

Alison said...

Love it. I make 'bottom of the fridge pottage', which is a similar thing. All the veggies which are heading past their best, whatever herbs/spices seem to fit, and some sort of 'thickener'; soup mix, bulgur wheat, rice, mashed potato, whatever seems good. J won't touch it, but it is the mainstay of my work lunches in winter.

I hadn't thought of freezing cooking liquids. And I don't know why not, because my most *favourite* gravy, growing up, was the one my great-aunt made, using the water from the carrots and swede. Thanks.

charlotte said...

What great recipes, the soups look really yummy! I hate the ready-made bag soups (just add water) they sell in the shops, they consist mainly of yeast extract and taste lousy.
Whenever we have sometihing with bones in it (lamb, turkey, fish), we cook the bones to make soup stock and freeze the stock. And then I basically do like you: just add vegetables and other leftovers.

Mother Moon said...

Never thought of calling it scrap soup yet it does make sense... I do this quite often and what I love most about it is that it is different everytime.... and the perfect weather for it to

Leigh said...

Renee, have Darly be in charge! Maybe if she gets to make it she'll interested in eating it. :)

Julie, Yes I do. I keep 1/2 gallon juice/milk containers and just pour the cooking waters into them and keep them in the freezer. When I'm in the mood for soup, I get one out and I'm got my soup base.

Alison, 'bottom of the fridge pottage,' great name! You're right about cooking waters being great for gravies, I'd forgotten about that (as my mind is on soup these days!)

Charlotte, isn't stock wonderful? So much easier to make soup with it on hand.

MMM, I didn't know what else to call it! It sure helps keep leftovers from going bad, I do know that.

Benita said...

Lots and I know what I'm doing Saturday!! I love soups!!

bspinner said...

Your soups look so good!!!!! Great weather for soup and stew along with a slice of homemade bread. Doesn't get any better than that.

Sharon said...

We bought a kosher chicken at Trader Joes and stewed it. I pulled an amazing amount of meat from the bones and then strained the bones, onions, celery, etc in the pot to get a great broth. I made the first dish as chicken and rice in the oven and then the subsequent incarnations of soup fed us for three more meals. No wonder our grocery bill has gone done. It was yum!

Robin said...

Hey, that's the kind of soup that I make! My mom calls it kitchen sink soup. Because.....you put everything but the kitchen sink in it. More often then not I don't use a recipe when making soup. Or when I do I will use the recipe as a loose guideline. There has been a lot of soup going on over here right now. The cold days just about beg for it. That and it's always so ding dong easy to make.

Leigh said...

Benita, enjoy! You know it will be good because everything in your fridge is foods you like to eat.

Barb, thanks! I agree about soup and homemade bread. Our best favorite lunch.

Robin, that's why the recipe is easy to remember, *LOL.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

MMMMM Scrap soup...sounds great. I have read beans and rice simmering right now. Cornbread to follow!

Ya'll have a fantastically blessed day!!!

Leigh said...

Oh Nezzy, that sounds so good! Even though I was born in the North, I've come to love Southern cooking. Your menu is one of my favorite meals.

Anonymous said...

Your blog about soup made me laugh as we had homemade soup last night. My method is to use leftovers as well, but from the Freezer soup Container. I have a container that holds about 1 liter with a screw on cap in the freezer. All leftovers go into this container and when its full it goes into the soup pot. Everything goes into it except lettuce and things that get slimy on freezing..LOL

When I am ready to make soup, I thaw the container, add some broth and season to taste. Sometimes I add a can of drained black beans or romano beans. We also like cooked grains in it such as wheat berries, millet or any others. Black rice is also a favorite.

Soup and some home made bread and life is good. Especially here where we have a couple of feet of snow on the ground.


Leigh said...

That's an excellent idea! I've been thinking that I need to can soup next summer for the following winter's use. Now I'm thinking I will just make Freezer Soup with my leftovers instead!

m said...

I don't make much soup, but usually I take a good handful of dried beans, peas etc. rehydrate them and add the basics, garlic, chili, onion and ginger and cook gently.
The dried pulses just happen in our garden. We are either away during the growing season, or some pods get overlooked. They often stay on the plants until they are demolished. Such "treasures" get added to a bowl on the kitchen counter during the summer/autumn. We frequently pick the best beans/peas from the bowl to save for planting the next time.

Leigh said...

Mary, your soup sounds so good. I love the picture of a bowl on the kitchen counter, just waiting to receive found garden treasures.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

You have some good combinations of flavors. I didn't know that about the lime and the pork bones.

Since you are using homegrown ingredients in your soups, would you like to enter this post in our Grow Your Own roundup this month? Full Details at


Leigh said...

Nate, thanks for inviting me to join in! As you can see, I've taken you up on it.

maggie said...

It's fun to see what other people call this. In family, we've always called it "garbage pail" soup, which is not nearly as appetizing as some of the other names for it!

Handful said...

Refrigerator soup at my home. :)