We all know what it's like. Having a fridge stuffed with weird leftovers and things that don't quite make a full meal can be frustrating. I'm actually pretty sure that this is how soup came to be in the first place. If it's not suitable as a meal on its own, toss it into a pot with anything else you can find, and voila! You've got a delicious mish-mash of flavors and a satisfied, full belly.
Last night, I found myself stuck as to what to make. So, I looked to Lauren Ulm's Vegan Yum Yum for inspiration. Here, I found a few recipes for soup, and decided to use her knowledge to create a "clean out the fridge" soup of my own. The final product was mainly based on her recipe for Vegetable Soup. The point, though, is that you don't actually need to follow a recipe to make a good soup. Just use what you have and go with it. As long as you use good judgment with your seasonings (let your nose be your guide), you will most likely wind up with a pretty tasty concoction. I did, anyway.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small to medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms of your choice (I used shiitake)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
6 cups water
2 bouillon cubes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup pasta (I used rice pasta, but use whatever you have)
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 tsp salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups baby arugula
Begin by heating the oil in a large pot. Add the onions, and saute them until they start to become translucent. Toss in the garlic, mushrooms, and herbs. Cook until the mushrooms soften and the herbs become fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the water, bouillon cubes, and tomato paste, and stir until the tomato paste has dissolved. Bring to a boil. Add the corn and pasta, bring back to a boil, then let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Then, add the beans and stir until they're heated through. Once the soup has come to a boil once again, season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in the arugula until it has just wilted.
This is a great weeknight meal that will provide some leftovers for lunch the next day. It's good reheated, too! My fiance likes it because it's well rounded and has a good range of vitamins and other essentials. I like it because it tastes good. It's a win-win!