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veggie soup

Veggie Soup: A leftover lovers litany

Vegetable Soup: A leftovers lover litany
Simple, hearty, and delicious

Prep time: 20 minutes

Onions, celery and carrots are at the base of nearly every soup I make. As a vegetarian, I make my soups using the juice of the olive oil and butter sauté of those three essential soup ingredients. It takes a few minutes more to chop then cook them up, but I have become so used to this ritual, that for me, it’s not a big deal. The good news is that there is healthful and delicious veggie or meat broths available (Imagine or Pacific Natural come to mind), and by all means, use those without a second thought.

The ingredients are pretty much whatever leftover cooked veggies you have on hand and the last of the raw cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, corn, whatever! Even the veggies that you might not be so inclined to eat raw as they appear a day too old – yes, toss them in! You can also add in leftover pasta, beans, meat, anything that strikes you!


Diced potatoes
Any and all leftovers


  1. Start with either the broth or do the sauté with olive oil and butter combined. If you had time for the sauté, add in chopped fresh garlic near the end.
  2. Put this or the broth into a large pot.
  3. Add some water until it looks like you have a soup pot full. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the potatoes and let them boil up, but don’t let them get too soft.

Here’s where it gets interesting…

  1. Depending on the leftovers, if they are raw, put them in now. If they are cooked already, wait until later.
  2. Consider adding canned beans, corn, tomatoes, or whatever else is handy.
  3. Season with pepper, a pinch of salt, and possibly some cumin.
  4. If you are adding leftover grains such as rice, pasta, or barley do it now at the same time as you add in the leftover veggies.

TaDa!  You’ve got a fabulous dinner in no time flat and you used up the rest of what was in your fridge just in time for your weekly trip to the grocery store.

One last note:
I almost always make cheese bread to compliment the soup. This is another great use of leftovers…if a baguette has been around for an extra day, use it! Fresh bread works as well, of course. Slice up a good quality cheddar or swiss, layer it thinly on the sliced bread, and put it on a cookie tray under the broiler for just a couple of minutes. You will have yummy cheese bread that everyone will enjoy!

"The Holiday Survival Cooking and Eating Class exceeded my expectations. It was so enjoyable to learn new ideas for healthy snacks and meals, taste the delicious treats we created and leave with an inspired hope that this will be my healthiest holiday season yet! I am impressed with the knowledge and care that Robin (and Wendy from In the Kitchen) both possess and I look forward to taking more classes in the future. Thanks again!"  --Rose M.   “What a wonderful, yummy class! Not only did we participate in creating several easy-to-make, delicious, nourishing dishes for the holidays and every day, we also learned strategies for surviving and enjoying the upcoming holiday season. Both Robin & Wendy were delightful and imparted their cooking and eating knowledge with love, humor, and enthusiasm. I highly recommend their classes to anyone who is interested in developing a better way to look at food, using thoughtfulness with mindfulness to learn some very valuable strategies for eating any time of the year!” --CAM   “I found the class delightful with great ideas for the holidays. In the Kitchen is a warm and welcoming place and you and Wendy were great teaching collaborators. Good new recipes. I appreciate your healthy eating information. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to enjoy the holidays without stressing over food. Actually, the information isn’t just for the holidays. I want to stay healthy all year and eat well.” --Pat B.   "I’ve participated in several classes at In the Kitchen, enjoyed them all immensely, but it is always a special treat when Wendy teaches a class. The recipes offered in The Holiday Survival class were easy to make and so delicious. And what a plus to have Robin co-teach the The Holiday Survival class with Wendy. Thank you, Robin, for all your great information on healthy eating, which was delivered so professionally, dovetailing beautifully into Wendy’s presentation. Hope you two team up again for more classes of scrumptious, healthy recipes. What a fun evening!!" --Carol B. _______________ I love this positive feedback! How gratifying it is to touch the lives of others in a meaningful way…and to be able to do so around a topic that is so dear to me, is just the icing on the cake (right—pun intended!). Wendy Van Wagner and I will continue to offer seasonal cooking classes in addition to the occasional specialty class…stay tuned!
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