beautiful leftovers soup

carrot-rice soup with chickpeas and roasted cauliflower

Do you combine complimentary leftovers into new dishes?

I do it all the time! 

One of the key steps to making it work is to add a fresh ingredient. Adding crisp cucumbers to fridge-cold leftovers as you drizzle over a dressing and call it a salad will make a big difference to teh finished dish.

Freshly chopped herbs, some slices of a crisp vegetable like cucumber, carrot, celery or bell pepper, tomato, or a handful of greens are all good ingredients to consider when making leftovers into a salad.

When you’re creating a soup or stew, of sorts, you still need to add something new. Whether you choose fresh herbs and chopped green onions on top, or a few additional veggies cooked in the pan before combining those bits and pieces you found in the fridge, the additions help to create a new dish, so much nicer than items just tossed together in a pot and warmed through.

For this thick soup, pictured, I used two leftover vegetable dishes (spiced carrots, and roasted cauliflower), plus leftover rice, and chickpeas. I added water and fresh parsley before simmering the whole thing for 20 minutes. Of course, I added more fresh parsley for serving. 

To make this not-from-leftovers, follow the amounts below to prepare the carrot dish, pre-cook some rice, and see here for my basic roasted cauliflower method. Scroll down past the carrot directions to read how to make this beautifully bright soup.

Spiced carrots with raisins INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, cut lengthwise then into ½” pieces
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup water
  • Sea salt

Spiced carrots with raisins METHOD

  • Heat the butter or oil in a medium-sized oven-safe cooking pot over medium-low heat; add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt: cook 10 minutes, until the onion has softened 
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine; cover, place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes
  • Using an oven mitt, carefully remove the lid and continue cooking 10 additional minutes.
  • Remove from oven and serve hot or warm, or reserve for the soup featured above.
carrot-rice soup with chickpeas and roasted cauliflower

To make the soup, pictured, you’ll need:

  • 1 batch of spiced carrots with raisins (above)
  • 1 cup cooked rice, any type is fine
  • 1 cup roasted cauliflower
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • 6 parsley sprigs, using the stems is optional, chopped and divided; reserve ⅓ for topping the soup
  • 1 cup water, vegetable broth or chicken broth

Over medium-low heat, warm the carrots in a medium soup pot. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. If you prefer soup with more broth, add another ½ cup water/broth and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve warm, topped with the reserved parsley.

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