Leftovers Soup: Good Improv Show

13.6.8 TheWholeRuth Leftovers Soup Improv
Teamwork: it’s what’s for dinner.

A post-dinner post from Saturday, June 8, 2013

Today we made soup with all of the ingredients left in our fridge. We felt very accomplished because tomorrow we get our box of veggies for the week and this soup allowed us to use all of this week’s food to the very last drop! Nothing went to waste! (Well, nothing ever goes to waste, organic food wise, because scraps or neglected foods go straight into the compost bin. But its nice when the food goes into our belly instead!)

I love the challenge of coming up with a meal with whatever is left in the fridge. It feels like an improv show where your audience is just the refrigerator. And although refrigerators aren’t much for feedback, they are great at suggestions. “Does anyone have a suggestion of what we can eat for dinner tonight?” Here is what our seemingly oafish, but always helpful refrigerator yelled out (You can make the fridge have any voice you want, but mine sounds like The Big Guy Who Works At A Moving Truck Company Who Would Also Help A Grandma Cross The Street):

“A couple of sprigs of fresh organic mint!”
“A couple of sprigs of fresh organic parsley!”
“4 large organic carrots!”
“A quarter of an organic orange bell pepper!”
“5 inches of a green zucchini that has a radius of a coaster!”
“A cup of homemade organic garbanzo beans!
“About 2 cups of barely useable green curly kale!”
“1/3 jar of Trader Joe’s Curry Simmer Sauce!”

The fridge was very eager to play. Then the fast-talking drunk pantry and the sloppy drunk fruit bowl surprised me by yelling out simultaneously:

The last TWO cloves of ORganIc garlic- 2 cups of organic QUINOA- and a carton of organic vegetable broth!”
“FOUR orgGAAaaaAAAAnic RUSSSSSSET potaaAaatoOe S!”

The spices in the spice rack decided to join in the fun too so a bunch of them yelled out their own name at the same time:

“Sea Salt!”
“Paprika!” (He has a hungarian accent.)
“Cayenne!” who shortly thereafter threw in a quick “MARJORAM!” just to embarrass sweet Marjoram who would never yell out her own name, but secretly loves the attention.

I’ll tell you how the show went, but not so that you can do the same show later. I can’t even do the same show later. I was talking to my dad on the phone this week and he was making his famous beans. “Ooooh, I miss your beans,” said I. “I miss my beans too,” said he. “Why?” said I. “Have you not been making them? Or did you make them so much that you took a break and now you miss them again?” “No… they never come out the same way twice.” Exactly. Said by my classically trained Symphony-trombone playing father who “can’t improvise” -on his instrument, but improvises in the kitchen all the time. So this is less of a recipe, and more of a moment to remember what was.

  • We cubed the potatoes.
  • We put them in a 6 quart pot o’ boiling water with minced garlic cloves until the potatoes were almost tender.
  • While that was boiling, we sliced the carrots, quartered the zucchini.
  • Also, we cooked the quinoa separately. Four cups water to two cups quinoa. Uncovered, brought to a boil, covered, simmered for 15 minutes. (It smelled like peanut butter after we cooked it…Weeeird.)
  • Then we transferred the potatoes and starchy garlic water to a bigger 12 quart pot.
  • We added the veggie broth and curry sauce, rinsed the curry sauce jar with a 1/2  cup of water and added that
  • Then the carrots and zucchini.
  • And the spices.

And at this point in the show, in the middle of this scene, elderly Garden, who didn’t understand the timing of how suggestions work, clearly, loudly, and elderlyly stated:

“Maybe 6 leaves of organic Cuban oregano.”

Good for her. Maybe she took a while to think of it, but her commitment was spot-on. And even though the suggestion box was closed at this point, we took the suggestion because it’s a great suggestion. And because I just like it when anyone is inspired to participate.

  • We added 6 chopped leaves of fresh organic Cuban oregano picked from the garden.
  • Then we added almost all of the mint and parsley (We didn’t use the long part of the stems and we left aside 2 tablespoons of the tops mixed together)
  • We added the kale.
  • When it seemed like the zucchini needed 15 more minutes to become tender, we the added pre-cooked garbanzo beans with the bean juice.
  • We added quinoa after the soup was done cooking.
  • We used the 2 tablespoons of mint and parsley as fresh topping (It was enough topping for four bowls of soup- we had two bowls each. Very pho-ish.)
  • And lastly, we sprinkled the fresh orange bell pepper on top too, for good texture and bright color.

Seriously delicious. Good show everyone, good show! Come back next week! And next up, our newest house team: Dishes!


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