|Don't pitch the Parmesan rind!|
So if I told you that this soup costs absolutely ZERO to make, would you believe me? It's true.
You see, we vegetable lovers, we can't help ourselves: when fresh produce is so fresh and beautiful, we buy more than we can ever consume in the few days vegetables stay quite fresh. ("Another eggplant? Sure, isn't it pretty?! And oh, did you see the carrots? We must have a few of those too.") CSA subscribers, I'm told, love getting a new stash of fresh vegetables but feel guilty when some of last week's delivery (and the week's before too?) languishes in the vegetable bin. Too often, we let the vegetables hang around too long, past saving.
This recipe -- one of the "concept recipes" that we all love so much -- is my latest way to "save" all those last bits of vegetables, not gone bad but none-too-fresh either, from the compost pile or the garbage can.
But the secret ingredient? I bet lots of people throw it away too, since it really isn't edible anymore.
What's the secret ingredient? It's the last bit of Parmesan, it's the rind that's the exterior of a wheel of Parmesan, it's what's left once we've sliced and grated off all we can get to. Don't pitch the Parmesan! It adds such flavor to pots of soup, wow, what a difference.
So yes, this soup costs nothing -- because if it didn't get made, all that vegetable and Parmesan goodness would go to waste; because if it didn't get made, we'd be buying fresh food to replace it.
Free food, you gotta love it. Free delicious food? Swoon.
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KITCHEN PARADE, THIS WEEK Green Mayonnaise
RECIPE for CLEAN-OUT-VEGGIE-DRAWER SOUP with a
DON'T-THROW-IT-AWAY SECRET INGREDIENT
Time to table: 30 minutes
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, cut on the diagonal
THE PICTURED VERSION
1 turnip, peeled and cut into cubes
2 carrots, cut into rings
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Vegetable or chicken stock to cover (I use Better Than Bouillon here)
About 4" piece of Parmesan rind
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high til shimmery. Stir in the onion and celery as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat. Stir in the turnip, carrot, sweet potato and kidney beans as they are prepped. Stir occasionally, don't be afraid to let the pieces get some color. Add the stock and Parmesan rind, then bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat to maintain a slow simmer, let simmer until the vegetables are done, about 20 minutes. Season to taste, serve and savor!
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
Let the onion and celery get quite golden, even get a little "burn" on the edges. This is the trick for developing flavor for something that's cooked this quickly.
The kidney beans add great texture and color contrast -- and protein.
~ Clean-Out-the-Fridge Noodle Bowl ~
~ Clean-Out-the-Fridge Purée ~
~ Mom's Favorite Leftover Magic ~
~ more "leftover magic" recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Saturday Soup ~
~ more recipes for using up leftovers ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column