When I cook, I’m afraid of being creative. Sure I substitute ingredients or leave something out, but the idea of cooking from scratch leaves me trembling. What if it turns out terrible?
Fortunately, the more I cook, the more I try to go out on a limb and make something from nothing. My confidence is thankful that these forays usually result in something good and as a result, I’ve kept at it.
I’ve found that one of the easiest things to make from scratch is soup. It’s also a great way to use up ingredients which is what I set out to do this weekend.
I always have bags of dried beans lying around from other soups I’ve made. The quantity is never enough to do much with so yesterday I combined the remnants of three bags of navy beans, pinto beans, and black beans in water and allowed them to soak over night.
This morning when I woke up, I took stock of what I had in my refrigerator and pantry. I came up with: two red potatoes on their way out, a few slices of bacon, a quart of homemade chicken stock, a beat up carrot, two stalks of celery, garlic, some leftover corn from dinner on Thursday, thyme sprigs, flat leaf Italian parsley and a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes.
With ingredients in hand I set out to make my very own leftover soup. The following is my totally from scratch leftover soup recipe.
Recipe for Leftover Soup
Feel free to make substitutions, deletions, and additions of any and all ingredients based on what is in your pantry.
1. Soak beans (preferably overnight) or you can use the quick soak method. The quick soak method involves covering dry beans with water in a pot and bringing it to a boil. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes then cover and allow beans to sit in water for approximately 1 hour before using.
2. Chop vegetables into bite-size pieces. Mince garlic, parsley and thyme.
3. Render bacon in large pot. Remove bacon slices and set aside.
4. Add onions to pot and saute in bacon grease at medium high heat for about 4 minutes or until soft.
5. Add minced garlic to onions and saute for about 1 minute.
6. Add carrot and celery to pot and saute for 3-5 minutes.
7. Add the corn, pre-soaked beans, diced tomatoes, and potatoes.
8. Add the chicken stock to the pot and add water if needed to cover the ingredients. Add bacon back in and add parsley and thyme.
9. Bring soup to a simmer and allow to simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Add additional water as needed.
10. Remove bacon and season. Serve.