First days of Winter call for “Empty Your Fridge” Soup

emptythefridgesoupWinter is coming…

I’ve actually only seen the first season of Game of Thrones but I thought this statement was appropriate. Last week, I was wearing just a fleece sweater to work, occasionally with a light scarf. This week, I was wearing the same sweater but with my winter coat and those little stretchy gloves. But no hat. Not yet. That’s just crazy talk. 😉

We’ve started seeing some flurries on and off and with the first signs of winter settling in, I start craving comfort foods such as Shepherd’s Pie (or Cottage Pie, really, as we use ground beef, not lamb, but my family has always called it Shepherd’s Pie), stews, casseroles and soups. So, I got up this morning and started rummaging around in the fridge to see what I could throw together to get that going.

What I came up with was really “a little bit of this, a little bit of that”. I had a few stalks of celery that were just starting to get rubbery (just barely). I’ve got half a bag of large carrots taking up some space in the crisper. Oh, about a cup of shredded cabbage that needed to be used or tossed soon… some dredges of minced garlic in the bottom of the jar on the door of the fridge… a leftover baked chicken breast… a part box of beef broth… half of a red onion and half or maybe one quarter of a white onion…

Then it was time to look in the freezer: diced sweet potato, a part bag of frozen peas… Okay, things were starting to look promising. This is where the “Empty the Fridge” part came into the title of this soup. I started yanking all of this stuff out and throwing it on my counter at about 10:00am this morning. Before long, I was pillaging the spices shelf and the pantry where I had some canned tomatoes, tomato paste and one of those Knorr’s chicken stock cups.

Here’s the list of what I ended up with:

From the pantry…

  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes (reduced sodium)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (I like my soup to have a lot of rich tomato flavour — you can cut back to 1 Tbsp if you wish)
  • 1 ‘tub’ Knorr’s low sodium “Homestyle” chicken stock
  • 1 ‘tub’ Knorr’s “Homestyle” beef stock
  • 1 cup small pasta (I had some that looked like rice; you could use tubes, elbow, mini shells, etc.)

From the spices shelf…

  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 tsp dried basil
  • 2  bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Mrs Dash table blend
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

From the fridge…

  • 1 cup (ish) shredded cabbage (might be savoy?)
  • 3 large carrots, cut into coins
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 3/4 box (approx 3 cups) beef broth, reduced sodium
  • 1 Tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 3.5 cups hot water (not really from the fridge, but you know what I mean)
  • a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

From the freezer…

  • 1 cup (ish) frozen sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen peas

First, I put in the carrots, celery, onions, sweet potato, tomatoes and garlic into the crockpot:

Crockpot full of colourful vegetables including sweet potatoes (cubed), carrot "coins", celery, red onion, white onion, diced canned tomatoes and garlic.

Then I added the seasonings, tomato paste and cabbage:

Crockpot full of colourful vegetables including sweet potatoes (cubed), carrot "coins", celery, red onion, white onion, diced canned tomatoes and garlic, now with cabbage, seasonings and tomato paste added on top.

Then finally, I added the chicken stock, beef  broth, barbecue sauce, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, water and chicken:

Crockpot filled with tons of veggies and topped up with broth and cubed chicken.

From  there, I set the crockpot on “high” and put the lid on and left it alone for about 4 hours. I added 1 cup of frozen peas at the end, then boiled up a cup of small pasta separately. I added about 1/4 cup of the pasta to my bowl before spooning in the soup.

Hubby took two or three mouthfuls of the stuff and exclaimed, “This is really good!” So I think it’s just what we needed! 🙂 Already, I’m sniffling as I eat my first bowl — a sure sign that the soup is doing what it’s doing. With soup like this, we’re ready for the winter! Bring it on!

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