Confession time: I'm awful at using all the produce I buy. I stock up on all kinds of fresh veggies with the best of intentions, but eventually find them at the bottom of the produce drawer turning into a science experiment.
Yesterday, I was cleaning out my fridge and getting irritated with myself. There was lot in there that was just going to waste - wilting celery, bags of carrots that were looking a bit dry, half a bell pepper that was a little mushy (not rotten yet) in some areas. All of the vegetables were still edible, but would not taste so great fresh.
So, I made soup.
Soup is a great way to use up all the vagabond stuff in your fridge - not just veggies. Half a carton of chicken broth? Chicken carcass? Half and half you never got around to using (not rotten of course!)? All can go into a soup of some sort.
Yesterday, I pulled out my trusty Joy of Cooking and cobbled together this recipe, I call it:
Waste Not Lentil Soup (ha)
2 Tb Olive Oil
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with liquid (I was out so I substituted 1 small can of tomato sauce and a few handfuls of chopped up grape tomatoes that were going soft)
1 tsp thyme
Heat the olive oil and add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Add the broth, lentils, tomato products and thyme.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
That's it - I served mine with shredded Parmesan on top. This freezes well too - throw in the microwave for a quick lunch - and save money on takeout!
There are many more Tightwad Tips over at Being Frugal. Check them out!