I make pantry soup at least once a month. It is a great way to use up veggies, rice, or pasta that is either left over or needs to be used up. Pantry soup is always such a comforting meal, no matter what I add to it. It is basically a bunch of veggies that need to be used up before they go bad, either ground beef or turkey for meatballs, or roasted chicken, and a starch, either rice or pasta. This is a great way to use up those 1/4 boxes of pasta. Sometimes I will add several kinds. Today I used up some onion, red pepper, crooked neck squash, celery, carrots and spinach. I defrosted some ground beef and made meatballs, then I found some Spanish rice in the fridge that was leftover from enchilada night. I grabbed some stock from the pantry and some spices and 90 minutes later I had a huge pot of delicious soup.
I initially started making this soup when I realized how much waste was coming out of my fridge. Vegetables that never made it to the table, or I forgot I had bought them. I decided a couple of years ago to really make a concerted effort to stop wasting food. Although I had the best of intentions, waste is waste. I make a lot of soup and then I freeze it in individual portions. They are a meal unto themselves, or with a sandwich for lunch. I have even made it for company and it was well received. On some level, soup is just plain comforting to just about everyone. I know my mom had a complete repertoire of soups that she made for the family throughout the winter months.
These are the veggies I used this time for my soup. Not shown is the stock, an egg and bread crumbs for the meatballs, and salt, pepper, dry thyme, and garlic powder. I also add red chili flakes. All the seasonings are based on how much you make and taste.
Here are the veggies sauteing. So bright and vibrant. If you want your veggies to stay bright, you can blanch them first, but I was in a rush today.
Here is the meat mixture ready to roll and drop into the soup. I don’t fry meatballs, I usually cook them in the oven, but for soup I prefer to poach them in the stock. It adds lots of flavor to the soup.
Here is the soup simmering away!