Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kitchen-Sink Soup, A Crate, A Car

One of my favorite ways to use leftovers, (legumes, grains and vegetables) is in what has been called  Kitchen Sink Soup in my family for at least 3 generations.

The principle is simple; anything can go into it!I made some today, because we went to the Farmer's Market and I needed to get rid of the odds and ends of produce before I stored the new, fresh stuff.

You can start with stock or make your own, it's just a time thing. This soup does well in a stock pot, a Dutch oven or a crockpot, depending on how quickly you want to serve it and how many you're serving. It also freezes beautifully, if you're not going to use it right away. (It's too hot in Florida for soup at the moment, so I'm going to freeze mine for the upcoming cooler days/nights!)

Today, I used organic vegetable broth, because I didn't have everything I like to make stock in the house. Then, I tossed in varying amounts of the following: Squash (I grew it), tomatoes, field peas, onion, okra (I grew that, too!) potato, snap beans, peas and broccoli. I have herbs from my garden, and salt to season. Towards the end, right before serving, I'll toss in some cooked brown rice that has been in the fridge, too.

Once it's done, I'll cool it and freeze it. One of my favorite ways to eat it is with some fresh rosemary bread and farmer's cheese from our local Farmer's Market.

The great thing about this soup is it adapts to you; I've made winter versions with root veggies such as winter squash, parsnips, turnips, onions and carrots. It also is the best prevention of food waste that I know. Just like jam, when fruit has seen a better day, this soup can absorb valuable produce that might not look as good as it once did - but which is still serviceable.


Today, also, I bought a plastic crate that I am strapping to the back of my bike. If I travel down one mile to the store, I can get a small amount of groceries and put that in the crate on the back, instead of trying to balance the bags on my wrists while biking. I think it's a worthwhile investment.


And, last but not least, since my old American GM car has been dying a slow death these last 6 weeks I've been looking for a small, light, Japanese car that gets good gas mileage. Well, I found one and bought it. My new (to me) Nissan is pictured below. It's a standard transmission, immaculate interior. The miles are a bit higher than I'd like but these cars, if well cared for, can do double or more the mileage I have on it right now.

So, I'm content. And I've dumped the gas-guzzler for something more reliable, more efficient and more in tune to our needs. Yay!


xysea said...

From Molly:

I have just come from your blog. Excellent and uplifting--you are an inspiration!

Molly (and Mom)

poetry said...

Hi X

What a great little green corner you have tucked in over here. Thank goodness for freezes for storing stuff made in season to eat eat out of season.

Love you're bike and crate, I've got a blue one two and a crate but I use mineto sit on when I'm weeding.

Hope you had a fabulous weekend.


xysea said...

Hi Molly, Hi Lys!

Welcome to the blog!

I am finding it's easy to green my life in unexpected ways, and I think it has its own rewards, you know?

Thank you for your comments!

Sean said...

I love soup... and I grow my own potatoes and tomatoes.

I think definitely both the crate and Nissan are good investments... every little bit helps the planet... and ourselves in the process.

It is great what you are doing with this blog Xysea!

Sean R

Steve said...

Nice. I love the idea of throwing everything into the pot and cooking it just to clear the way for me food.

I've also blogged about leftovers as well. I feel pretty strongly about the "waste nothing" mentality, although I've been slipping a bit.

Nothing works for soup like crock pots and slow cookers!

xysea said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for coming by. :)

Yes, I'm with you on the food waste issue. I try to minimize it, and what I can't use goes into the compost bin.

With food prices going up worldwide, it's best to use whatever we can, however we can.

purpledogstar said...

Wow that soup looks tasty!

I'm glad your new car's running ok. As long as its got somewhere to plug in my ipod, that's the main thing! hehe!

xysea said...

Well, we're working on that. Going to have to replace the stereo, but that isn't too expensive.

The radio works, but the other part does not. :(

I looked at a few over the weekend (CD based, with conversion bit) and it's affordable.

I need to decide if I want that, or more PC memory,

Paris of the South said...


Could you send me your e-mail again. I have a message to relay.

Thank you,
Judy Rhodes

Julia Gordon-Bramer said...

Hi Xysea! This is either/or (on MySpace), or Julia, in the human world. Good to find you here. I'll be dropping in.

xysea said...

Hi Julia,

Welcome! I'm so excited to see you here.