Thursday, February 17, 2011

Project Food Budget: Clean out the fridge soup!

Two posts in one day! If you missed my last post with the recipe for Gluten Free Lemon Strawberry Poppyseed Muffins bars, click HERE!

I'm participating in Project Food Budget and my submission for this week is going to be all about building a Clean Out The Fridge Soup!

I practically live on soup! I rely on old standbys about half the time, but for those times where I need to stretch my dollar, I just clean out the fridge. I am at my X's house, but I always bring food here because they live off of a lot of junk. I brought some cooked split peas, cooked chickpeas, marinara, kale, collards, carrots, onion, garlic, brown rice pasta and almond parmesan which was all food I had in my fridge that I would have used at home.
Clean Out The Fridge Minestrone

So this soup was created in 30 minutes. When I am building a soup, I start with oil, dry spices and aromatics. The spices I used today were basil, crushed red pepper flakes and cumin seeds. I added a couple T of olive oil to the pan and 1 large onion diced. 1 carrot  along with 8 cloves of garlic. I sprinkled some garlic salt and freshly ground pepper on the veggies and sauted for 10 minutes. Next I added marinara sauce, water, tons of chopped kale and collards, chickpeas and their cooking liquid and cooked split peas. Turned the heat up to HIGH and boiled away for 10 more minutes. Lastly, I broke up some pasta, covered the pot and turn the heat off. 10 minutes later we had a big bowl of nutritious soupy goodness. Finished with a bit of balsamic vinegar and almond parm it made a perfect lunch! We also had collards wrapped with peanut butter and banana inside. 

The marinara adds a lovely depth of flavor due to the roasted garlic and herbs. The cooked split peas made a silky, almost creamy broth and added more protein and staying power to the soup. 

This made 8 cups of soup!

The absolutely great things about cleaning out your fridge is that you often come up with really really tasty food. Unfortunately, it is hard to replicate it again sometimes! 

What are your favorite Clean Out The Fridge meals?


  1. i guess ill just top my salds off with anything thats left, or just make a stir fry with whatever veggies are left:0 pretty boring over here:)

  2. I love clean out the fridge soup! I make it all the time, and it is always different and always fun :-) Yours sounds fantastic!


  3. Mel-What is almond parmesan? Is it a product that you buy or some ground up almonds that you make yourself? If it is a product, what are the ingredients and where do you get it?

  4. I'm always making fajitas or stir fry out of the veggies I have. I also just start grabbing stuff to put on top of ramen / udon / somen. Peppers, cabbage, green onions, radishes, carrots, cilantro, whatever.

  5. Oh yum! Great recipe! I too love soup! I'm making this!

  6. Wendy, I use either walnuts, almonds or cashews and pulse them with miso, nutritional yeast and a tiny bit of nutmeg.

  7. The other great thing about clean out the fridge soup is you can can finally see what else is in there!

  8. You just reminded me of almond parmesan! It's good mixed with sesame seeds and a hint of lemon too, I'll have to make that asap.

  9. wow. i'm impressed that your leftover soup looked THAT good. :)

    our clean out the fridge activity usually involves smoothies or stir fries. can't go wrong with either.

  10. Hi i was reading your blog and thought you might like mine. feel free to check it out and comment or leave feed back. Thanks!