While this does prove an effective means of curbing overspending, it also proves an effective means of creating a few bare pantry days before the next trip.
You know, those days when you look into your fridge/pantry and see only orzo, garlic cloves, and half and half?
These are the days that were made for: a.) take out or b.) Bare Pantry Soup.
Now, I’m not dogging on a nice night of Chipotle, but may I suggest the satisfaction found in serving a hot, hearty pot of whatever-you-have-on-hand?
The magic of this recipe is in its flexibility and in the unique ability of soup to transform the bland into a rich cornucopia of flavor and frugality.
So, open that fridge, pull out those almost-gone-bad carrots, and remember that spices cover a multitude of sins.
Bare Pantry Soup
(Note the excessive use of “ish” and “/” + imprecise measurements. Remember: Flexible. Use whatever you have!)
- a few T oil (olive or coconut…or whatever)
- 1ish onion
- 2 cloves garlic/some garlic powder
- 2ish cups broth (I use homemade chicken broth, frozen in ice cube trays)
- 4ish cups water (If desired, you may use all broth instead; alternatively, you may use all water if you don’t have broth. Just add more spices/onion for flavor).
- 2ish large carrots
- Some potatoes (I used 5 small)
- 1 14.5 oz can tomatoes
- Some other veggies: celery, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, whatevs*
- 1-2 cups Lentils/rice/orzo/beans/macaroni noodles (already cooked)
- Spices: My go-to is cumin (about 1T) but this time I used rosemary and thyme (about 1 1/2 t each)
- Salt and pepper to taste
1.) Heat the oil on medium heat in a large pot. Use a food processor to chop onions, then saute them in the pot with the garlic until softened; about 5 min.
2.) Chop the other veggies. I use the food processor for carrots, celery, and to puree the can of tomatoes (Hubs is not a fan of chunks).
3.) Add the other veggies to the pot, cover with lid, and let cook until softened; about 5-7min.
4.) Add the broth, water, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
5.) Add the lentils or whatever other legume/bean/noodle you have on hand. Let simmer for about 30 min.
6.) Taste and adjust spices as needed.
7.) Top with grated cheese (we get a killer smoked cheddar goat cheese from Azure Standard), avocado, or homemade croutons (using that stale bread you have in your fridge).
*If you don’t have many veggies in your fridge, no worries! I find that the onion and garlic are the most important for flavor. Even adding just one or two other veg can still yield a yummy pot of soup.
And there you have it. Soup fit for a cold winter’s day.
What do you like to make on bare pantry days?