One of my goals for this winter was to make more soup, and another constant aim of mine is to cut down on food waste. The two are compatible - soup's a great vehicle for combining odds and ends from your fridge and freezer, and that's just what I did last night.
The key to being able to do this kind of thing on the fly is to have a pantry that's stocked with some staples. Those of you who've been over here know that I have a lot of food stored in my "pantry" at the base of our basement stairs. Low-sodium chicken broth, diced tomatoes and canned beans (remember, Eden Organics have no BPA in the liners) are always in residence. I also always have peeled garlic cloves in my fridge (Trader Joe's has some good ones that are vacuum packed so they last longer than those you get loose at Whole Foods). From these ingredients with some additions, you can create myriad quick meals.
I wanted to make something hearty and comforting for D., who's fighting both a cold and a wicked work schedule. I'd planned on a funky tofu stir-fry, but for D., tofu stir-fry doesn't equal hearty or comforting. He loves the tofu, but not on a cold winter night when he's feeling hit by a bus. I got inspired by a post by The Kitchen Witch, and I was off and running . . . .
All the items were things I had on hand - this lends itself to tinkering and modifications, so go crazy!
Bit o' Everything Tortelloni Soup2 T. extra-virgin olive oil 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved and then cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds 1 head kale, tough stems removed and chopped corsely 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, with their liquid 3 c. chopped tomatoes, with their liquid (boxed Pomi brand has no BPA) 8 c. low sodium chicken broth 1 (9-oz.) package whole wheat with five cheese tortelloni (these were fresh but I'd stuck 'em in the freezer because they were about to expire - you can cook these from frozen) Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Finely grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add the leeks and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the carrots, kale, garlic and beans and toss to combine. After the kale has begun to wilt, add the tomatoes and the broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until the carrots and the kale are just tender. Add the tortelloni and cook for another 5 minutes or until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve, topped with Parmesan cheese.
Serves 4, and takes about 40 minutes from start to finish (I was "paged" several times by L. during the course of prepping this, so this is a generous estimate!).