Kitchen Sink Foods - Soup
These are real-time ingredients that were left over in my fridge from a particular dish or nearing its freshness deadline. Naturally, your contents will differ, but it is simply to serve as a template of what can be created from mismatched ingredients:
3/4 Jar of Tomato Paste
1/2 box of pasta sauce
Handful of Spinach
1 Cup Wild Rice
2 Summer Squash
1 Sweet Potato
Handful of Broccoli and Cauliflower Florets
10 Cherry Tomatoes
2 Vegan Flatbreads
2 links of Field Roast Vegan Sausage
While the vegetables are roasting, I prepare the wild rice with vegetable stock in a small pot, as well as prepare the stock for the soup. In this case, with the remaining tomato paste, pizza sauce (yes, that's right), and this:
A generous tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon to about 12 cups of water, along with the tomato paste and brought to a simmer, is about right, but of course soup stock flavor is entirely up to you and what you have on hand. Other great flavor enhancers for stock, other than salt, are balsamic, liquid amino (alternative soy sauce), lemon, even aquafaba (chickpea liquid).
Once the vegetables are out of the oven and the wild rice prepared, I add everything to the stock simmering on low heat and everyone get acquainted. The addition of the rice to the stock also thickens it up somewhat, which is a nice touch. At this point, I add the garnishes that I've set aside for color and texture, including the tomatoes, spinach, basil, parsley, thyme and pine nuts. I also finished off the stock with some balsamic vinegar, already on hand. This dish would have been perfect with a rustic garlic loaf, but since this challenge was about only using ingredients on hand, I will have to add it to the list for next time.
Even with soups, I love to take a moment to roast my vegetables. It imparts a more complex and satisfying flavor in the final product. I pick what will be roasted (for this dish, I will omit the tomatoes, basil, spinach and pine nuts from the heat), make sure everything has a loosely uniform cut for even roasting, lightly dress with algae oil, salt, pepper. Set the oven to 465 degrees (I don't know why, it's just my go-to) and let everything develop a rich, deep flavor. I check after about 30 minutes or so; I don't want to over-bake, in order to retain a vibrant color and texture to the vegetables. There will be more heat through later, so best to under-roast than to go over.