Between a very giving garden and overbuying at the farmers market (can you say no to all those gorgeous offerings?), I often find myself with a fridge full of produce leftovers. Waste drives me crazy, especially of the beautiful veggie variety. But I can only feed those chickens so much- what to do with all that leftover produce?
Make this Crisper Soup. Before your veggies go bad and end up in the compost bin, grab them out of the fridge and cook them up in one big swoop. You can almost make this soup with pretty much any combination of vegetables— broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, endive, fennel, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuces, mushrooms, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, shallots, spinach, tomatoes…you get the idea.
This is a great soup to make post party when you have all those crudités leftovers sitting in the fridge that may or may not have been manhandled. Be forewarned that some of your colored vegetables, like purple cauliflower or tomatoes will give the soup a darker color.
This is more a formula over a formal recipe, but that’s part of the charm.
Gather up an assortment of vegetables (see list above) and give a rough chop.
For every quart of veggies, sauté over medium heat in a large sauce pan, the veggies with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 sliced clove of garlic and ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes.
After the veggies are sautéed, cover with water or stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a good simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then, puree with an immersion blender or regular blender or Vitamix. Taste for seasoning, adding a squeeze of lemon or a splash of wine, sea salt and fresh ground pepper as needed.
To serve, pour into bowls and top with a drizzle of good quality olive oil and a little goat cheese or feta if you are so inclined.