Every so often it seems we have a fridge full of left-overs – enough for one person, times three or four dishes.
So if I know that what we have remaining after dinner isn’t going to get used in the next couple of days, I usually put it in the freezer for some other time when we’ll need it. (Times like ‘I didn’t get to the store yesterday and am now feeling unwell so am putting off going today, but we still need to eat’. Or ‘we had a lot of plans for the weekend and forgot to plan meals for when we are home: what’s in the freezer?’)
Then we warm up whatever we took from the freezer, usually adding to it in some way. A little package of saucy vegetable curry has some water and a couple handfuls of lentils added to it; we’ll serve it as a new dish with rice and flat breads (from the freezer).
Occasionally we have too much risotto. Whether it didn’t turn out quite right (more here), or I prepared a big pot of the onion and celery base so we could add different vegetables (more here) and it was too much, or any other reason you have for left-overs. Then I freeze that, and label it for soup. (Some dishes just don’t work out as they originally were, after being frozen.)
It’s a soup short-cut.
Cook a chopped onion, some celery, carrot, mushroom, tomato, zucchini, potato, squash, cauliflower, greens … anything you like or have on hand. Add some lentils, or beans. Do you have a little piece of meat that nobody is going to eat? Cut it up and toss it in. You can add as much or as little as you want, as well as any spices you feel like. Be sure to include a handful of chopped fresh herbs, like parsley or cilantro.
Add the package of left-over risotto from the freezer and some broth, or even water since the rice is already flavoured from its initial cooking. Simmered with the lid on, the frozen block of rice will slowly defrost and mix with the other ingredients. Soup!
Just as other frozen left-overs can save the day – or dinner – so can risotto.