Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

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!

Robin Mallery

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