Leftovers soup

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that leftovers can often be transformed into fabulous soups?

Winter is the perfect season to take advantage of a steaming liquid meal. Just recently, I have made a soup from leftover bolognese sauce by blending it with some extra tomatoes, to make a really hearty bolognese soup (topped with blue cheese in the pic):

this was amazingly good

I made this delicious soup just a couple of nights ago: leftover roast beef and roasted vegies (garlic, fennel, baby carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, peas) boiled together with a little leftover gravy, pepper, rosemary & chicken stock to make a rich roast beef & vegetable soup – served here with Yorkshire pudddings (also leftover) that were reheated in the oven while the soup was cooking:

it's like a liquid roast; people without teeth - rejoice!

…and tonight I had a deconstructed cauliflower soup, which was actually cauliflower cheese – but, had I cooked it with some chicken stock and some extra pepper, then blended it into a puree, it would have made an awesome soup!

so rich and tasty

The next soup is not a leftover soup, but it’s so quick and easy that it may as well be.

Recipe #44: Moroccan-spiced pumpkin soup. Serves at 4-6 as a main.

You will need:
► 30-60g unsalted butter
► a generous swirl of olive oil
► 2 small onions, chopped
► 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
► 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped finely
► 1 tsp dried turmeric
► 1 level tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed in the mortar & pestle
► 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed to a powder
► 6-8 cloves, crushed to a powder
► ½ cinnamon stick, crushed to a powder
► 4 bay leaves
► large wedge of your favourite pumpkin, diced [I use a whole butternut squash]
► 1 tomato, diced
► 1 Massel chicken stock cube

Heat a large saucepan to low heat and add the butter, oil, garlic, ginger & onion. Leave this to sweat (stirring occasionally – you don’t want it to brown); I do this while I cut the pumpkin into a 2cm dice. When the onions are transparent, increase the heat to medium and add the rest of the spices, including the bay leaves. Cook these off until fragrant, stirring constantly (around a minute) then add the pumpkin & tomato. Coat the pumpkin with the mixture then replace the lid and cook until the pumpkin starts to break up naturally, stirring every couple of minutes. Add the stock cube and ~250mL hot water then leave to cook for at least another 20 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup [if you have a Thermomix, you can do it while it’s hot]. Serve with a sprig of coriander and a swirl of olive oil.

Note that if you want to convert this to a yummy but not-so-spiced soup, just leave out the turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds, cloves and cinnamon. This then becomes the end result (topped with brie, in the picture below):

scrumplicious pumpkin soup of the not-so-spiced variety

Of course, there are many other fabulous soups out there that use fresh ingredients – like my tom yum.

I am in love with garlic and onion soup, which comprises olive oil, butter, garlic, onion, thyme, stock, water, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. I guess the best way I can describe it is as a lighter cousin of French onion soup.

Another that I aim to feature shortly is pea & ham soup. I make a huge batch once every winter and just haven’t for some reason this year…

I hope this post has given you the inspiration to eat more soup [it’s just so delicious, especially when accompanied by a slab of crusty bread!] or to make something new & different out of a pre-loved meal.

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