Spring Cleaning Soup

Every once in awhile, the vegetable drawer in my fridge fills up and things start to get a little wilty looking. You know the sight:  the middle stalks of celery that you always thought you would use, the leftover mushrooms that are getting shriveled, the bits of herbs that are left because you only needed a pinch out of the whole bunch for the last recipe.

When this epidemic hits my veggie bin, I bust out the stockpot and make a “Clean out the Fridge Soup.” When my kids were little, one of our favorite bedtime stories was “Stone Soup,” so I let them each choose a veggie out of the bin and “help” (hahahahahaha)  me prep it and then I let them add it to the pot. The kids loved to tell all their friends we were having “Stone Soup” for dinner!

SPRING CLEANING SOUP, a.k.a. CLEAN  OUT THE FRIDGE SOUP, a.k.a. STONE SOUP

12 cups diced vegetables
2 tablespoons butter or oil
Water to cover vegetables in pot (about 8 cups)
A few bouillon cubes, to taste
One 6 ounce can tomato paste*
Herbs to taste
A little Worcestershire sauce or cayenne pepper sauce, if desired
Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Saute the vegetables that will need the most cooking (i.e. potatoes, celery root, etc.) first in the oil for a few minutes. Add in onions, garlic and any other aromatics. Saute until everything is slightly softened.

Add in rest of ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer until all veggies are softened. (I usually simmer for about an hour.)

*You can substitute leftover marinara sauce here, if you have some left in your fridge, about 1 cup.

— posted by Donna

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